When The X Factor gets renewed for a fourth season, it will be without judge Demi Lovato. Speaking on the red carpet after tonight’s performace finale, X Factor boss Simon Cowell confirmed that Lovato won’t be back next …
Fox has a Thursday problem. The problem is X Factor followed by Glee. Their ratings are not catastrophic — they’re just not what the show once enjoyed, or what Fox would like to see again. The X Factor’s Thursday results show was down 25% in overall audience last season, and 21% in the demo (9.5 million viewers, 3.3 rating) compared to the season previous, and the season previous wasn’t anything to write home about — which is why all but one of the show’s non-Simon Cowell judges, and one of two hosts, are not returning in the fall. Glee, meanwhile fell another 13% in the demo, and 10% overall, last season (3.3 rating, 8.1 million viewers) – and that’s with just one rerun in the ratings mix – making it that show’s lowest-rated season yet. Back in its second season, Glee managed to snag 10.3 million viewers and a 4.2 rating with around a dozen repeats factored in.
Enter Demi Lovato.
In one of those the-whole-is-bigger-than-the-sum-of-its-parts theme nights, the popular singer/former child star has been signed to appear in at least six episodes of Glee this coming season, while also appearing as X’s sole surviving non-Simon judge. That’s at least six Lovato-themed Thursdays this season — more than a third of Glee‘s episode order for the season. It’s the former Disney Channel star’s first major acting gig since Sonny With A Chance called it a day. She’ll first appear in the second part of Glee’s Beatles tribute, on October 3, as TVLine noted.
“It’s like having a dinner party – you invite people for dinner and sometimes it’s a fun night and sometimes not as fun as you thought it was going to be,” Simon Cowell said of last year’s judge panel on his singing competition series. When did Simon realize last season’s “dinner party” — Britney Spears, LA Reid, Demi Lovato and Simon – wasn’t going well? “It was more of a feeling it was similar to what everyone else was doing and I had this impatience to get on to Season 3 so I could do what I wanted to do,” Simon told TV critics at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013. “This is a fun dinner party,” added Simon of his new all-girl judge panel, seated with him on stage. Last May, Fox announced former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland, and Mexican singer/actress Paulina Rubio had replaced Reid and Spears. Rowland is not new to the gig, having been a judge on the Brit version in ’11.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
New The X Factor judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato were introduced during a Fox TCA session this afternoon, live via satellite from Miami where the series was undergoing its preseason boot camp. The pop stars-turned-TV personalities were both sweet and earnest, a winning contrast to their proudly acerbic judging cohort Simon Cowell. Cowell generally behaved himself in rolling out the show’s replacements for the axed Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. But even as he was exulting in the show’s new configuration, he was contradicting himself. Asked how much job security his new judges might have in light of the single-season survival of the first judges, he noted, “Job security. There’s not much. No one has any really. Not even me”. Cowell also revised what he told the media in February, when he noted that he figured the show would be hiring two women to replace first-year host Steve Jones. “The plan is to have a boy and a girl”, he said, “and ideally I’d like someone who maybe hasn’t actually been a host before. I think there’s a different role for them on this show going forward as well”. He hoped to have an announcement by the middle of August.
As part of her blitz of post-rehab interviews, Demi Lovato announced today she is not going to return to her Disney Channel series Sonny With A Chance. “It made sense for me to go ahead and leave the show to focus on my music,” Lovato said in a statement to People magazine. “It’s kind of sad for me that a chapter of my life has ended, but there couldn’t be a better time for me to move on. I don’t think going back to Sonny would be healthy for my recovery, being in front of a camera would make me nervous.”
The news is not surprising, and Disney Channel has been preparing for a future of the show without Lovato ever since she entered rehab at the beginning of November. In January, the channel started production on So Random, a comedy series based on the sketch comedy show within Sonny, for a June premiere. The new series features all other Sonny regulars, guest stars and musical acts, and, by continuing the Sonny franchise, it was able to preserve 75 jobs. (Disney Channel first tested So Random as two stand-alone specials in 2010, which did well.)