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.
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.)