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 season but indicated the door will be left open for her in the future. Word that Lovato would be leaving after two seasons got out earlier today on People.com. It came two days after Cowell announced that X Factor will be renewed but it would undergo major changes in Season 4, including Cowell possibly taking on “a different kind of role.” Lovato was the only judge on the X Factor panel from Season 2 to continue in Season 3.
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.
Well we know who one of the judges on X-Factor is going to be next season. Fox announced today that Demi Lovato would be returning to the panel for Season 3 in the fall. “I couldn’t be happier that Demi wants to come back this year. She’s a superstar in her own right and was a fantastic mentor last year. Even though she can be really, really annoying – I truly enjoyed working with her and so did the artists. I’m especially pleased she’s back even during her world tour!”, said fellow judge and X-Factor creator Simon Cowell in a statement Thursday. Along with Britney Spears, Lovato was a new addition to the competition series last season. After just one season Spears exited the X-Factor officially in January. Veteran judge LA Reid said last year that he was out too. That leaves Cowell as the only remaining judge from the show’s first season. No replacement has been announced yet for either of them. Despite the bounce expected from the addition of Spears and Lovato to the judges’ panel for Season 2, X-Factor found itself battered in the ratings. The Season 2 finale on December 20, 2012 was down nearly 20% from the Season 1 ender on December 22, 2011.
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.
Britney Spears and Demi Lovato walked out on the stage at Fox’s upfront presentation as new judges on The X Factor, joined by Simon Cowell and LA Reid. “We delivered,” Cowell proclaimed when introducing the show’s new judging panel. The new additions spoke only briefly. “I’m so exited about this whole experience,” Spears said. “I’m ready to find a true star.” Added 19-year-old Lovato, “I’m exited to represent my generation.” Reid referred to X Factor as “the Rolls Royce of reality TV.” Said Cowell, “I’m thrilled they (The Voice) have decided to compete with us in the fall. I wish them the most sincere luck – but second’s not great.”
EXCLUSIVE: We’ve learned that singer/songwriter/actress Demi Lovato‘s deal was done late last night. So Fox will introduce her and already locked-in Britney Spears as its new judges for Simon Cowell’s fall talent show The X Factor at today’s upfront in NYC. (UPDATE: The pair were announced and came onstage. Read our story here.) Unlike last year when the network went along with Cowell’s low-profile judges’ choices (after chaotic early months of on-again/off-again choices), this fall the show is stressing its celebrity quotient in an unabashed bid to grab younger demographics. Both Lovato and Spears received their starts as cogs in the wheel of the Disney star machine, with Lovato a star of the Disney Channel series Sunny With A Chance and in the Camp Rock movies.
Spears was first to close her deal in April to join Cowell on the judging panel in Season 2 following a month of talks. Deadlline was first to report that the pop star received a $10 million offer to join Fox’s singing competition and finally signed up for even more than that — closer to $15 million. That means Spears exceeded the $12 million which Jennifer Lopez received on American Idol last season. Cowell and Fox had focused on getting Spears on board before moving to fill the …
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.)
EXCLUSIVE: Meet Disney Channel’s new Zac Efron and Demi Lovato hopefuls. The cable channel has assembled the cast of what is being groomed to be its next original movie/musical franchise, Lemonade Mouth, by mixing young Disney series stars and unknowns with TV veterans Tisha Campbell-Martin and Christopher McDonald. The story follows five disparate high school students who meet in detention and form a band. Starring are Bridgit Mendler (Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie) as lead vocalist Olivia White, Adam Hicks (Disney XD’s Zeke and Luther) as keyboardist Wen Giford, Hayley Kiyoko (Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place) as electric guitarist Stella Yamada, Naomi Scott (Disney Channel UK’s Life Bites) as bass guitarist Mohini and Blake Michael (discovered during an open casting call) as percussionist Charlie Delgado. Nick Roux as Scott Pickett, Chris Brochu as Ray Beach will play rival band Mudslide Crush, while Campbell-Martin will play music teacher Miss Reznick and McDonald Principal Brenigan. The movie, slated for a 2011 premiere, was written by April Blair based on the book Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes. It is being directed by Patricia Riggen, executive produced by Debra Martin Chase and choreographed by Chris Scott.