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.
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.
Creator Simon Cowell will lead the judging panel when the UK singing competition show returns to ITV for its 11th cycle later this …
“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 …
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.
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 …
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.
Listen to (and share) episode 3 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks with host David Bloom about what the creators of Downton Abbey have planned for Season 4; the record-breaking Bollywood hit Chennai Express and where it might roll next; whether Simon Cowell is truly ITV’s X factor; and last-minute dealmaking over the lucrative TV rights for the most important thing in Britain as English Premier League football kicks off.
“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.