“It’s official. Cheryl is back,” Simon Cowell tweeted today, of former The X Factor UK judge Cheryl Cole. She’s returning in the same capacity for the 11th iteration of the singing competition series in that country. Cole famously left that show — after a successful run in which she mentored the eventual winner two of the three seasons she was on the panel — to come to the U.S. and be a judge/mentor on the doomed American version, only to get pulled after two audition rounds of the first season. That was the first inkling U.S. viewers got of the revolving door that would be the American The X Factor judge/mentor panel. At that time, there was much speculation that her Newcastle accent had done her in, which Fox reality TV guru Mike Darnell denied. Nicole Scherzinger, who originally had been signed to co-host with Steve Jones, was named to replace Cole. She lasted only one season as judge/mentor; ditto Paula Abdul. Cowell himself is returning to the mothership, after his show struggled through three so-so seasons in the U.S. and was canceled last month. It will be his first season back on the flagship The X Factor, which has suffered a ratings decline. Last month, Cowell said, “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to The X Factor UK. … It’s been three years since I last judged the …
Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about whether China’s boffo box office can sustain its remarkable growth rates of recent years; a potentially important Sino-British trade accord on film and TV production and what that might mean for U.S. film and TV production; the very warm welcome in South Africa for epic biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom; and whether a U.S. legal settlement for singer Cheryl Cole might pave the way for her return as a judge on the UK version of The X Factor or even on ITV’s newest music competition, Rising Star.
A little over a year ago, erstwhile X Factor judge Cheryl Cole sued producers Blue Orbit Productions for more than $2.3M. The case has now been settled out of court, with producers paying an undisclosed sum to the pop star, the BBC reported today. A spokesperson for Cole tells Deadline, “Cheryl’s dispute with Blue Orbit has been resolved amicably.” Cole was a three-time judge on The X Factor UK before being imported by Simon Cowell to serve as judge for the debut season of the American version in 2011. Amid much drama that summer, however, she was replaced by Nicole Scherzinger before the show went to air. In her suit, Cole claimed she was owed money under a pay or play contract. Cole had been paid $1.8M for Season 1 of the U.S. X Factor, but was seeking money for Season Two. Cole’s teams twice won the X Factor UK and Cowell told Britain’s Metro newspaper last week that the two had “patched up our differences a long time ago… I think both of us would like the idea of working together again.” He also praised her judging ability, “She was a great judge… and she knows what she’s talking about.” The X Factor UK was recently renewed for three years on ITV while the U.S. …
Short-lived The X Factor judge Cheryl Cole today sued producers Blue Orbit Productions for more than $2.3 million. Even though she was dumped from the show before it debuted Stateside, Cole claims that she is owed the money under the pay or play contract she had. The British host and singer says in her Breach of Contract suit (read it here) that while she was paid $1.8 million for season one of the U.S. X Factor, it is the money for season two that she is seeking now. Cole served as a judge on the UK version of X Factor and was imported by Simon Cowell to serve as judge for the debut season of the American version of The X Factor. That never really happened. Cole was replaced by Nicole Scherzinger before the show even went to air. “On June 5, 2011, Blue Orbit formally elected to exercise its pay or play right pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, such that Cole was not required to perform any services as a judge on The X Factor series,” says the complaint. Besides her $2 million fee as a judge for season two, Cole is seeking the additional $300,000 for wardrobe, stylist and living expenses she says she is owed. The X Factor is currently in its second season with Scherzinger having herself been replaced by Britney Spears as a judge on the show. Cole is represented by …
‘X Factor’ Premiere Falls Short
It’s been an exhausting week for Fox’s reality chief Mike Darnell, who hasn’t slept much since the end of last week as he also oversaw the network’s Emmy telecast on Sunday. And he barely got some shut-eye last night, awaiting the ratings for the premiere of Simon Cowell’s The X Factor. They came in below most expectations: a 4.2 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 12.1 million viewers in the fast nationals, falling short of the January season premiere of American Idol (9.7/26, 21.6 million viewers in the fast nationals) as well as the April debut of NBC’s The Voice (5.1/13, 11.8 million) in the demo. (In the finals, X Factor is expected to go up 2 tenths to a 4.4 rating, though the other 2 shows also were adjusted up in the finals). Cowell had been talking about his goals of beating Idol in the ratings and averaging some 20 million viewers for The X Factor. Darnell dismisses that as “Simon’s showmanship, something you’ve got to love him for.” But “we lived with the reality that there is an enormous interest in every show during premiere week, and honestly, we’re just relieved this morning. Other than crazy expectations, this is a very good premiere.”
Darnell points to the fact that fall has been traditionally tough for Fox and that The X Factor delivered Fox’s best premiere Wednesday ratings in 18 years and was the network’s most-watched fall debut in five years. “If it stays close to a 4 (rating in 18-40) for the 40 hours it’s on the air, that would be amazing for us,” he said. He declined to address the higher premiere number for NBC’s upstart The Voice, but I hear Fox’s explanation is that, because of Idol, there is a built-in appetite for singing competitions in midseason that might have helped The Voice.
Simon Cowell: Fox Would Have Been Happier If I’d Remained On ‘Idol’, Cheryl Cole Will Be Featured On ‘X Factor’ Premiere
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s television coverage.
Former American Idol judge and rabble-rouser Simon Cowell said this afternoon that he believes Fox “would have been happier if I’d remained on Idol for the rest of our lives and there hadn’t ever been another show.” Speaking to reporters via teleconference to hype his new musical competition series The X Factor that launches next week on Fox with a two-part kickoff (on Sept. 21-22), Cowell added, “I had to explain to Fox why I needed to bring X Factor over. I made the point that someone was going to come over and do another show like this. These are, after all, very expensive shows to produce. Because X Factor had a couple of really good years in the UK first, that sort of sped the process up and (Fox) got really into it.”
Cowell also said that judge Cheryl Cole, who was dismissed from X Factor after one taping, would be appearing on the Sept. 21 premiere but then “during the second half (of the premiere), on Sept. 22, you’ll see (her replacement) Nicole (Scherzinger).” Asked by Deadline if he believes his old show Idol finally will win the Emmy for Outstanding Reality — Competition Program this Sunday, he laughed and replied, “It would make me laugh if the show were to win after all of these years. So watch, it probably will. I’d see that as less threatening to me personally …
Cheryl Cole, who became well-known in the U.S. for being hand-picked and then jettisoned as a judge on Simon Cowell’s upcoming Fox singing competition The X Factor, apparently has been cast in a cameo role in Lionsgate’s What To Expect When You’re Expecting, the adaptation of the best-selling pregnancy guidebook. The pop singer’s publicist confirmed the news via Twitter. The BBC said Cole, who appeared on Cowell’s UK version of X Factor before leaving that show too, would play a TV talent show judge in the movie, which would mark her first big-screen appearance. She also recently has been rumored to be a candidate for a judge on the UK version of The Voice. What To Expect, whose ensemble cast includes Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Brooklyn Decker, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Chris Rock, Chace Crawford, Rob Heubel and Matthew Morrison, is due out May 11, 2012.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
UPDATED: The incomparable Simon Cowell met the TCA press from afar — via satellite from an undisclosed location that looked suspiciously like a luxury yacht at sea — to promote his latest Fox singing competition to hit America, The X Factor, which arrives needing little plugging. Early on, he confirmed that he’s in talks with Mariah Carey for a mentor-type role on the series that will air Tuesday and Wednesday nights each week beginning Sept. 21. “There are certain sections of the show that I’m hoping Mariah will get involved in,” he said. “She’s been enthusiastic (to be a part of the show) from day one. But then she selfishly got pregnant, which is why she didn’t end up as a judge.”
Cowell also was asked early on in the session to address the Cheryl Cole fiasco, wherein the popular judge on the British X Factor was brought to the U.S. version, only to get bounced after a single taping. “A few of us made the decision while we were filming the show that we felt Cheryl was going to be more comfortable doing the UK show than the American show. Unfortunately, when the story went public, negotiations fell apart. But she was offered the chance to come back to America. But for certain reasons, she decided not to. I guess that’s what happens when you make reality TV. Real things happen. It doesn’t always go your way.” Cowell dismissed speculation that any friction between Cole and fellow judge Paula Abdul may have played a role in Cole’s ouster. “If not getting along with Paula was a factor, I wouldn’t be on the show,” he said.
With Cheryl Cole now officially off both the U.S. and the U.K. versions of X Factor, speculation is growing that she may join the upcoming U.K. adaptation of The Voice, and that has ignited a bidding war for the format between the BBC and ITV. Its breakout success in the U.S. on NBC has made The Voice format a hot commodity in Britain, but until recently, the show had been fully expected to go to the BBC, which is looking for a replacement for recently cancelled So You Think You Can Dance to air on the most lucrative night in Britain (and most of Europe) — Saturday. The British press started circulating the rumor that Cheryl Cole was at the top of BBC’s wish list for judges on The Voice last month, with speculation intensifying as Cole officially became a free agent. And the possibility of ITV star Cole joining rival BBC reportedly had the brass of the commercial broadcaster reverse their original decision not to pursue The Voice. BTW, according to British media, other singers pursuied for the British Voice are George Michael and Robbie Williams.
After a week of behind-the-scene drama, Fox, and X Factor USA producers Simon Cowell’s Syco TV and FremantleMedia this morning issued a statement confirming the judge switch on the upcoming reality series. After she was let go 10 days ago and then declined to return to the British X Factor, Cole on Friday night was asked to return to the U.S. show. While the offer raised speculation that it may be a ploy to get the producers out of paying Cole’s $1.5 million fee, according to British papers, the offer was not tied to the singer’s fee, which she would get regardless.
FOX, FREMANTLEMEDIA NORTH AMERICA AND SYCO TV today confirm Nicole Scherzinger will be replacing Cheryl Cole on the judging panel of THE X FACTOR. Nicole will join Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul on their search across America to find the next global superstar or group to win the life-changing $5 million dollar recording deal. Nicole has previously joined Simon Cowell as a guest judge on The X Factor for the UK version of the show in 2010. Steve Jones will act as sole host of THE X FACTOR.
The drama continues. After she was dropped from the U.S. X Factor and declined to return to the original British show, Cheryl Cole now may rejoin the Fox version. British papers and TMZ are reporting tonight that Cole has been asked to come back to the U.S. X Factor. Speculation is that if Cole turns down the offer, the producers of the Fox series would be off the hook for the $1.5 million the British singer was guaranteed for the gig. The latest twist in the saga may explain why Fox, Cowell or X Factor co-producer FremantleMedia never officially confirmed Cole’s exit. Cowell normally relishes controversy, but this is a bit too much even for him. With the Cole drama still ongoing, over the past couple of days he also has been forced to defend himself from accusation that the current season of Britain’s Got Talent has been rigged.
The British press have their long knives out humiliating Fox’s Mike Darnell over the near-decision to replace their sweetheart Cheryl Cole as a judge on the U.S. version of The X Factor. Of course, it took Fox Broadcasting boss Peter Rice and Mike Darnell and the talent contest’s executive producer Simon Cowell to really screw up before it even goes on the air this fall. But don’t let facts get in the way of a good insult:
– Daily Mail: “Axed by fiendish Rumpelstiltskin: The 5ft 2in snakeskin boot-wearing TV boss who shattered Cheryl Cole’s U.S. dream.”
– The Guardian: “Mike Darnell, former child star, now the cowboy-hatted, ringletted munchkin in charge of Fox’s apocalypse-beckoning reality schedule.”
These are all descriptions I need to add to my repertoire. My just calling out someone as a ”putz” clearly doesn’t cut it anymore…
MONDAY: She was sought after for both the U.K. and the U.S. versions of X Factor. Now Cheryl Cole won’t be a part of either of them. After getting axed from the upcoming Fox edition of the singing competition, there was speculation that Cole would return to the British version of the show. But no deal was reached, and the X Factor network ITV announced earlier today that the judges for the upcoming season of the show will be Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos, Kelly Rowland and the only returning member of the panel, Louis Walsh. “These four are totally up for it, each of them bring a different attitude,” X Factor chief Simon Cowell said in a statement. “They have had a ton of hits between them and they are all committed to finding a star.” Cowell, who made an appearance as a judge on his other U.K. talent competition series, Britain’s Got Talent, over the weekend, got ribbed by co-host Dec over Cole’s dismissal. “Can you understand my accent Simon,” asked Dec, who shares the same Geordie roots as Cole.
Deadline’s Nikki Finke revealed last month in its exclusive interview with The X Factor mastermind Simon Cowell that he was adding UK pop singer Cheryl Cole to his judges’ panel on the Fox singing competition which premieres in the fall. The network made it official in an announcement this morning. Cole is a judge on his British version of the show but unknown to American audiences. Cowell recently told Nikki that he wants to team up again with Paula Abdul to round out the 4-member judge’s panel, but her contract isn’t done yet:
British pop superstar Cheryl Cole will join Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Simon Cowell as a judge on THE X FACTOR, the highly anticipated singing competition series debuting this fall on FOX. Cole, who has sat alongside Cowell as a judge on the U.K. version of “The X Factor” for three years, is a multi-platinum selling solo artist and a member of Girls Aloud, one of the U.K.’s most successful female vocal groups of all time. Cole will join Cowell, Reid and an additional judge (to be announced) as they travel to THE X FACTOR audition cities searching for the next global superstar or breakout music group.
“I’m thrilled for Cheryl. She is massively excited about this show, and has been fantastic to work with,” said Cowell. “She is also a complete brat! Most importantly, this girl can spot talent.
Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of TV, said this weekend that Simon Cowell will not be one of the main judges on the British X Factor. ITV is still holding out that Cowell will appear in the live shows toward the end of this fall’s series -– even if it is just by video link. How desperate is that? Fincham has told the Sunday Mirror: “We are talking to him about ways he can have an on-screen presence later in the show. He will not be a weekly judge.”
Given that Cowell occupies a space somewhere between David Beckham and God in the UK national consciousness, this is a huge blow to ITV. Cowell and the broadcaster have been wrangling for weeks over how Cowell could do both the UK and U.S. versions at the same time. The UK X Factor begins in August, while the U.S. Fox version starts in September. The UK auditions had already been moved back to May to accommodate Cowell. ITV suggested providing a private jet to zoom Cowell back and forth across the pond. Cowell said no. Then ITV suggested moving production of the Fox X Factor to New York instead. “Uh uh,” said Cowell, who instead proposed shifting the UK show to the beginning of January. But ITV couldn’t face losing the estimated £22 million ($36 million) profit it makes from the show, split with Cowell’s production company Syco and co-producer Talkback Thames. …
She was the first name bandied about for a judging gig on the American version of The X Factor when the series was announced in January 2010. Fourteen months later, speculation is still rampant whether the hugely popular judge on the British X Factor (but a virtual unknown in the U.S.) would join Cowell on the Fox show. Cowell has admitted that he’d been talking to the Girls Aloud singer, but the only other confirmed X Factor U.S. judge so far, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, reportedly went further. “We’re gonna compete against American Idol just fine,” Reid was quoted as saying to the British press. “I’m very confident. But along with Simon Cowell and Cheryl, I don’t know who the other judge is.” Reps for X Factor declined to comment on speculation. Other female singers rumored for an X Factor judging job include Mariah Carey, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul.
An X Factor insider tells me George Michael was never even in the running for the US show, despite UK tabloids splashing that the controversial singer is a definite alongside Brit pop singer Cheryl Cole. Elton John, who was also being talked about, says he won’t be taking a judges chair. There’s speculation that Cowell has also approached Mick Jagger and Noel Gallagher, notoriously surly frontman of rock group Oasis. Cowell will announce the US X Factor judging line-up next month. Surely the US X Factor needs to have American judges such as Kanye West or Jay-Z – another one who’s turned down Cowell’s blandishments I’m told — not more Brits sitting alongside the pop Diaghilev.