English-Irish boy band sensation One Direction gave fans something extra to get excited about this morning. The pop idols announced an upcoming film of their current Where We Are tour (see trailer below), touting it as “the first ever full One Direction concert experience on the big screen.” In keeping with the growing trend towards event cinema, One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film will screen for one weekend only — October 11 and 12 — in theaters worldwide. Recorded in June at Milan’s San Siro stadium, the film will feature the concert, interviews and backstage tour footage. In 2013, the Morgan Spurlock-directed 3D documentary One Direction: This Is Us grossed $68.5M worldwide. That Sony/Tri Star release was produced by Simon Cowell‘s Syco Entertainment in association with Fulwell 73. The latter is producing the new concert film which is presented by Syco, Sony Music Entertainment, Modest Management and Arts Alliance. Cowell is again among the exec producers. The five One Direction members were discovered on Cowell’s X Factor UK in 2010. Since then, they’ve sold over 29M records. Paul Dugdale, who directed The Rolling Stones ‘Sweet Summer Sun: Hyde Park Live’ last summer, is helming the Where We Are movie. And, just in time for the holidays, it will be released on DVD on December 1. (Parents taking their kids to VUE cinemas in the UK for the big screen event may want to inquire as to whether …
Fox cancelled The X Factor in the U.S. back in February, the same day that ITV said creator Simon Cowell would rejoin the UK version. The following month, Cowell confirmed that former X Factor UK judge Cheryl Cole would return for the 11th season of the show after having left to join the U.S. version in a famously short-lived stint. Today, Cowell’s company Syco announced by tweet that Mel B is to be the fourth UK judge. The panel is now complete with Cowell, Cole, Mel B and the returning Louis Walsh. Last year’s group consisted of Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Gary Barlow and Nicole Scherzing. The former Scary Spice, Mel B (aka Melanie Brown) was a guest judge on The X Factor UK in 2012 who lived up to her nickname with her straight talking approach. Today, she said, “I’ve always thought honesty is the best policy when being a judge and that’s what I’m going to bring more of this year — whether it’s spotting an incredible singer, giving someone a reality check or debating with Simon over who’s got it wrong! Now I can’t wait to get started and find some amazing talent.” Cowell added, “I thought she was fantastic as a guest judge a couple of years ago. She is feisty, opinionated and, I believe, will be a great mentor.” Mel B is also …
Simon Cowell has joined Univision‘s effort to dissuade advertisers of the notion that Spanish-language programming is fine for older viewers but not necessarily young Latinos who are bilingual and watch English TV. He’s launching a talent show in 2015, La Banda — a search for five members of a Latino boy band — across the company’s media platforms, he said today at Univision’s upfront presentation. “There was only one destination [for the show], and that was Univision,” he said as execs added that they’ll begin looking for product integrations, which have become de rigueur for TV talent shows. Contestants will come from Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, and the band will have a recording contract with Sony Music Latin.
The announcement buttressed what’s possibly the most direct sales pitch advertisers will hear from the major networks presenting during upfront week: “You won’t sell your stuff if you don’t speak the language,” EVP Ad Sales Steve Mandala told advertisers in his presentation today. Univision presents itself as the “one media company that’s 100% focused on all Hispanics.” Mandala pointed to rapper Pitbull (he “isn’t just a pop star; he’s a marketing powerhouse”) and Univision’s success selling products for Post’s Honey Bunches Of Oats, Subway, Nissan, and Toyota.
Simon Cowell‘s Syco Entertainment and Australian special effects house Animal Logic Entertainment (The Lego Movie, Happy Feet) are partnering to develop music-based animated and hybrid animation/live action pics. Their first project is slated for release in 2016. “It is a dream come true to have this opportunity of working with Animal Logic. I think their work is pure genius and I really feel excited about the films we are going to be making together,” said Cowell. Animal Logic’s, Zareh Nalbandian is heading up the partnership, along with Jason Lust and Syco Entertainment’s, Adam Milano. “We are thrilled to bring together the amazing talent, global reach and expertise in popular music of Syco Entertainment alongside Animal Logic’s rich history of innovative, cutting edge animation and universal storytelling. I am confident our truly complementary collaboration with Syco will be a very powerful force in family entertainment”, said Nalbandian. Syco, together with Sony Pictures, produced the 2013 boy band documentary One Direction: This Is Us. Morgan Spurlock directed the pic about the teen idols who were discovered on Cowell‘s UK X Factor in 2010. Cowell is back as a judge on UK X Factor. The U.S. version of the singing competition was canceled in February after three seasons.
Simon Cowell‘s Syco Entertainment has teamed with Robert FX Sillerman’s SFX, a global producer of live events and digital entertainment content focused exclusively on electronic music culture, and T-Mobile U.S., to produce Ultimate DJ, a music event competition television show revolving around the booming EMC and focusing on building new DJ talent. Developed by Syco, Ultimate DJ does not have a TV network and will launch initially online. It will feature producer-challenges where DJs will be asked to submit recordings for fan voting via social media. From there, the competition will move on to live challenges and performances in SFX event venues. The project reunites Cowell with Sillerman whose company owned American Idol producer 19 Entertainment while Cowell was on the show.
Just a month after officially debuting on London’s West End, Simon Cowell‘s X-Factor parody show I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical is shuttering. Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and Stage Entertainment produced the stage show which opened at the London Palladium on March 26 following previews on March 5. Producers announced the early closing on the play’s website and on Twitter. I Can’t Sing‘s final show will bow May 10. Fox cancelled the U.S. version of Cowell’s televised reality singing competition in February. “We are sad to be bringing I Can’t Sing! to a close but are immensely proud to have co-produced the show. The West End can be an unpredictable place as the closure of a number of high profile productions recently has shown. I Can’t Sing! has had audiences on their feet night after night, four and five star reviews from the critics and an amazing company and creative team, but it seems that isn’t always enough,” said Stage Entertainment UK CEO Rebecca Quigley. Brit comedian Harry Hill wrote the musical comedy with music and lyrics by Steve Brown. Here’s a video peek at the musical which stars UK thesp Nigel Harman (Downton Abbey) as Cowell:
In this week’s podcast, Deadline International Editor Nancy Tartaglione and host David Bloom preview this year’s Mip-TV market and the interactive Israeli format that may just dominate this year’s show; take a look at some of the very familiar nominees for the Olivier Awards, honoring the best of British stage; and ponder the promised closure of BBC Three amid the possible resurgence of The X Factor in the United Kingdom as Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole return to shore up the sagging franchise.
“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 …
One place where Simon Cowell won’t be landing this season following the cancellation of the U.S. version of his The X Factor: American Idol. “No, he’s not going to be on the show at all,” Idol executive producer Per Blankens said today during a press event on the show’s new LA set. “I’ve heard he’s going to the UK to do X Factor,” he added. (He is.) The possibility of Cowell’s return after Fox last week axed X Factor was as one of several topics addressed in a sit-down with new Idol EPs Blankens, Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager. The trio was joined by Idol’s new director Louis J. Horvitz, set designer Baz Halpin, and returning EP and FremantleMedia president of entertainment programming Trish Kinane. Also there was Fox’s David Hill, the Senior EVP of 21st Century Fox and former chairman and CEO of Fox Sports who was put in charge of the show and the now cancelled X-Factor in early June.
Season 13 of Idol launched to a premiere low January 15 as the show has been trying to get its once mighty mojo back with a reconfigured judging panel and new showrunners. The show moves into its live shows next week, going head-to-head with NBC’s Sochi Olympics. That isn’t a big worry, Blankens told me. “The ratings are doing OK considering and there is really nothing you can do about the Olympics — we knew when we did the schedule that we’d be facing it. Added Kinane: “The ratings have stabilized and we’re very happy with where they are against the Olympics. We’re up over where we were in 2010,” she said.
“What we hope with the live shows next week and going forward is that we can reconnect with the fans and get them to come back home,” Blankens said. “A lot of people love Idol but I think they didn’t approve of the way some things went last year.” Among the format tweaks: for the live shows beginning Wednesday viewers will be able to vote at the beginning of the show as opposed to the end as in past seasons.
On the heels of ITV’s announcement that The X Factor creator Simon Cowell will be returning to the UK edition as a judge this year, Fox has announced that the U.S. version of the singing competition will not be renewed for a fourth season. “I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on The X Factor and American Idol,” Cowell said. “And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!). Last year, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to return to the UK version of The X Factor in 2014. So for now, I’m back to the UK and I want to thank Fox for being an incredible partner and I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows. America, I’ll see you soon!”
Cowell is not departing American television completely, he still executive produces NBC’s summer staple America’s Got Talent, but his on-screen presence in the U.S. will be taking a break. The cancellation decision comes after a dismal third cycle for X Factor on Fox, which was down double-digits from Season 2. Fox chairman Kevin Reilly praised Cowell, pointing to his decision to leave the judging table as reason for the axing. “To all of us at Fox, Simon is more than one of the most prolific TV personalities …
Creator Simon Cowell will lead the judging panel when the UK singing competition show returns to ITV for its 11th cycle later this year, the network confirmed today after weeks of speculation. It will be his first season back on the flagship The X Factor after spending the last three years getting the U.S. version up and running on Fox while the ratings for the U.K. original have been going down. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to The X Factor UK,” said Cowell, whose Syco banner co-produces that show with FremantleMedia UK. “It’s been three years since I last judged the competition and I’m excited to find a global superstar again.” Cowell’s return of course raises further questions about the future of the U.S. version of the show as the two run concurrently. Fox has not yet renewed X Factor here after dismal ratings for the recent third cycle. Despite Cowell’s announcement last month that X Factor will be returning for fourth season, Fox boss Kevin Reilly said during TCA that no decision has been made — though he hinted the show will continue in some form. “The show definitely underperformed this year, ratings are not what we wanted, but X Factor still is one of the most successful brands in the world, and the No. 1 and No. …
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.
“The show will be back next season,” Simon Cowell said of The X Factor — which this season is clocking its smallest numbers yet — when asked by Deadline. Asked if he will be back as a judge on the show next season — it’s been widely speculated he’ll return to judging on the UK version — he responded, “I might have a different kind of role.” Cowell was on a conference call with reporters to talk about this season’s two finalists, who also were on the call. Cowell said he “was not necessarily saying” he wouldn’t be a judge on the show next season but rather that the show’s format is likely to change a lot. The singing competition has fumbled about half of its first-season audience (which in itself was only half as many viewers as Cowell had forecast for his franchise before its premiere). Going forward, Cowell said, X has “got to be more different next year than it was this year,” adding that he’s in “the middle of a presentation of what we think the show should look like and what the fans would like. And yes, my role could change.”
Among those changes is likely a truncation from two nights to one, Cowell said, which would emulate what ABC did this season with Dancing With the Stars. “Possibly, yeah — I won’t say which night,” Cowell said in response to the truncation question. (If ratings mean anything, in re which night, the show clocks a bigger crowd on Wednesday, its performance night). Carving X down to one night a week would make it cheaper to produce — it is not profitable this season, according to informed sources — though what would make it a lot cheaper is if Cowell did not return as one of the judges.
FNC’s Megyn Kelly To Jay Leno: “I Am A Straight News Anchor — I Am Not One Of The Opinion Hosts At Fox”: Video
“I always tell people if they think I am this conservative operative, ‘Ask Karl Rove if that’s true’,” Megyn Kelly told Jay Leno in making her first visit to NBC‘s Tonight show. “The way we do it on the Fox News Channel is the straight news anchors—like myself—give a hard time to both sides.”
She singled out Anthony Weiner as a “contentious interview”: “He used to come on the show, and he was so full of hubris and he was so—sort of—in your face… If you were walking around with that kind of secret, and you were going on the national news, wouldn’t you dial it back a little bit,” she asked, turning to Leno’s other guest, Simon Cowell. “I don’t know,” said Cowell, who is in the news these days for getting a pal’s estranged wife pregnant. Kelly reminisced about the time her show put up on the screen a graphic showing congress has a lower approval rating than cockroaches and hemorrhoids. Leno suggested “the internet” has caused the congressional stalemate. Kelly said it would help if the White House would do more outreach to congressional leaders but that it doesn’t help to have the Republican leader in the Senate saying their primary goal is to stop Barack Obama‘s agenda, adding she doesn’t know how to fix it but “I know …
Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about The Rocket, the best film to come out of Laos in perhaps ever, and why the Laotian government is banning it; Keshet’s Rising Star continues to rise in the U.S. and U.K.; so-past-rising star Simon Cowell’s newest three-year deal with ITV; what new EU film-support rules may mean for getting more films made there; and a French film debut that may redeem a poor year at the box office for local productions.
ITV is extending its relationship with Simon Cowell for another three years. The British network has pacted with Cowell and Sony’s Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia UK to keep reality competition series The X Factor UK and Britain’s Got Talent on the air through the end of 2016. Britain’s Got Talent will return to ITV next spring for an eighth series. The 11th series of The X Factor will air in the fall. The renewals had been expected, although there has been some question as to Cowell’s involvement with The X Factor going forward. The 10th series of the show is currently airing with judges Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Gary Barlow and a consolidated average of about 10M viewers. It was earlier suggested that ITV was urging Cowell to return to X Factor to help goose ratings after last December’s finale hit a six-year low. While he is expected to make special appearances during the series’ runs, a full-time return is still a question mark. He left the show in 2010 to concentrate on the Fox version in the U.S. The two air at essentially the same time of year, meaning doing both would be a stretch. But with the U.S. version faring poorly this season and facing the danger of cancellation, Cowell could potentially become …
Whatever the public voting results of Wednesday night’s Motown-themed X Factor were, they don’t count. As a result of a graphics error that displayed the incorrect voting numbers during the performance recap at the end of the East Coast broadcast, the Fox singing competition is scrapping the tally. A re-vote will be held tonight in a live, one-hour performance show where the top 13 acts will sing their “Save Me” songs from 8-9 PM ET with a tape-delay for the West Coast. Tonight was intended to be the season’s first live-results show, but now everyone gets a reprieve until next Wednesday when the results will be revealed and an act will be sent home. On that show, the remaining finalists will perform hit songs from the 1980s. The next night, another act will leave.
Simon Cowell for one saw the bright side, tweeting: “Mistakes happen. But now I have 24 hours to prepare my groups for tomorrow night. Let’s hope they all deliver.” He followed that up with: “And for a couple of contestants they must be thanking their lucky stars they get to sing another song tomorrow.”
Expect to see Simon Cowell driving up to The X Factor auditions in an Odyssey minivan instead of his traditional gigantic black Over-Compensating Vehicle, now that Honda has signed on to replace Chevrolet as official automotive sponsor of his Fox singing competition. In this morning’s announcement, Fox, Cowell’s Syco Entertainment, and FreemantleMedia North America said Honda had signed on to the show in order to help launch the redesigned 2014 Odyssey minivan. The campaign will feature three in-show integrations — think X-ettes driving around in a minivan while singing tunes — digital voting sponsorship, and off-air rights. Honda also gets “ownership” of the franchise’s so-called Fan Rewards — incentives to fans for clicking and interacting their way through The X Factor digital landscape with points, to use for show and Honda merchandise.
Simon Cowell made a surprise appearance at a screening of the first two episodes of The X Factor UK today in London. Of a possible return to the show he departed in 2010, he told the BBC, “I wouldn’t rule it out.” Cowell has been expected to make special appearances on the upcoming season, but up until now word has been that he wouldn’t make a full-time return. Today’s BBC report suggests he didn’t jettison the idea entirely, but he also didn’t elaborate whether his input will be more than occasional guest spots, or potential sit-ins when other judges might sit out. It’s more likely he was speaking about the future, given that the show already has four judges locked for the season that kicks off on August 31: Gary Barlow, Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne, who is coming back to the show after leaving in 2007. If he were to come back in a ramped-up capacity this year, he’d be shuttling back-and-forth between the British version and Fox’s X Factor in the U.S. The American shows air during the week and the UK episodes are at the weekend meaning he’d be logging quite a bit of fast-turnaround air travel.