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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Million Second Quiz’ Finale Rises, ‘X-Factor’ Hits Low, CBS Encores Win Night

It was the battle of the American Idol alumni last night and Simon Cowell took Ryan Seacrest down. Beyond that, host Seacrest was probably just glad that a $2.6 million winner was declared on The Million Second Quiz (1.4/4) and the show’s time was up after 11 days. And compared to the week before and the night before, MSQ ended up. The live multi-night multi-platform ratings flop came to an end last night with a two-hour show that rose 27% from both its September 18 and its September 12 show last week. In preliminary numbers, Thursday’s result was the best the limp MSQ has done in since its second night on September 10. As an additional programing note, the Kansas City Chiefs match-up with the Philadelphia Eagles was shown on NBC’s KC affiliate and by an ABC station in the City of Brotherly Love so expect an adjustment in the final numbers later today. With those inflations likely going down, there’s going to be a lot of ground to cover. With The Big Bang Theory and Two and A Half Men encores double shots the top four rated shows of the night, CBS won Wednesday with a 1.6/5 among adults 18-49 and in 6.7220 million in total viewers.

With a former contestant auditioning anew and a tragedy turned into song, Week two of Season 3 of Cowell’s Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Survivor’ Hits Lowest Fall Debut Ever, ‘X Factor’ Even, ‘America’s Got Talent’ Finale Up Slightly, ‘Big Brother’ Finale Dips

By | Thursday September 19, 2013 @ 9:08am PDT

It was a night of winners and wannabe winners Wednesday, with NBC’s America’s Got Talent (2.5/7) and CBS’ Big Brother (2.4/7) wrapping their latest cycles just in time for the fall season, On CBS it was veterans night as Big Brother’s Season 15 came to an end and Survivor (2.6/8) started its 27th cycle with 90-minute episodes each. After a season marred by racial slurs among its contestants, the Julie Chen-hosted Big Brother found its $500,000 grand prize winner. Although the 9:30-11 PM finale dipped just 4% compared with its Season 14 finale on September 19, 2012 and week-to-week it bopped up 4% from its September 11 show, last night ended up being the show’s lowest finale of the last six seasons. With a few new twists on the formula, Survivor: Blood & Water, on the other hand, took a real tumble compared to its Season 25 opener on September 19, 2012. Marking the show’s 400th episode and the top-rated show of the night, last night’s 8-9:30 PM Survivor fell 19% from its previous fall premiere. That makes last night the show’s lowest fall debut in its long long history. Compared to its 90-minute Season 26 opener on February 13, the Mark Burnett-produced show saw an 8% rise among the key demo. With a 2.5/8 rating CBS won the night among adults 18-49 and NBC topped the night in viewers with 9.203 million.

Related: 2013-14 Broadcast Season Preview: Challenges The Networks Face This Fall Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Wins Night As ‘X Factor’ Dips, ‘Million Second Quiz’ Hits Low, ‘Rookie Blue’ Finale Up

By | Friday September 13, 2013 @ 9:07am PDT

After hitting a series low with its one-hour Season 3 premiere on Wednesday, the two-hour The X Factor (2.2/7) last night saw a 5% slip when compared hour-to-hour to the previous night’s debut. Thursday’s X Factor drew a 2.0/7 in the 8-9 PM hour, whereas the Wednesday show got a 2.1/7. Night 2 actually saw a small 3% rise in overall viewership to 6.4 million over Night 1 in the comparable hour. With a lot less competition Thursday, a direct night-to-night comparison has last night’s show up 5% from the September 11 debut among adults 18-49 and up 10% in total viewers. Year-to-year in the 8-9 PM comparison, X Factor was down a hard 35% last night from the 3.1/10 that the one-hour Night 2 of its second season drew on September 13, 2012. Last night’s 8-10 PM show continued with auditions — now in Denver and Long Island, with Simon Cowell himself even singing a bit — and a total viewership of 6.8 million. Fox won the night in adults 18-49 and total viewers. CBS was second with a 1.9/6 rating and 6.687 million watching.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘X Factor’ Hits Series Low With Season 3 Debut, ‘MasterChef’ Finale Dips, ‘Million Second Quiz’ Falls

It was a night of beginnings and endings on Fox on Wednesday. First off, The X Factor (2.1/7) was back for a third season at 8 PM. With an “everything’s good brother” and “that’s the easiest ‘Yes’ I’ve ever given in my life” from Simon Cowell, the show saw returning judge Demi Lovato, new additions Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland and a first round of auditions in LA. Hitting a series low and beaten by CBS’ Big Brother (2.2/7) in the time slot, X Factor’s first one-hour premiere also saw the show down 22% in fast nationals from the comparable hour from last year’s September 12, 2012 premiere. The previous low was a 2.3 on November 8, 2012. In comparing premiere to premiere, the 8-9 PM hour of last year’s two-hour debut drew a 2.7/9 in fast nationals, which went up to a 2.9/9 in the final numbers. (Overall, the 8-10 PM start of the second cycle got a 3.3/10 in fast nationals and went up to a 3.4/10 in the finals.) Also, unlike last year, when X Factor matched up against the third episode of Season 3 of The Voice in the 8 PM slot, Season 3 of the Fox show had the much weaker The Million Second Quiz as its competition on NBC. X Factor was down 17% in viewers to 6.2 million from a year ago. Still with a 2.2/7 rating, Fox was No. 1 for the night in adults 18-49 and in viewers with 6.177 million. Read More »

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Honda Replacing Chevrolet As Automotive Sponsor For ‘X Factor’

By | Friday September 6, 2013 @ 7:51am PDT

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. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘X Factor’ Musical; Hugh Jackman Honored In Zurich; Beijing Fest In Venice & More

London’s ‘X Factor’ Musical Finds Its Simon Cowell
Nigel Harman, the former Eastenders star who has a role in Season 4 of Downton Abbey, has been tapped to play a character based on Simon Cowell in I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical. The show will be directed by Olivier Award-winner and Tony Award-nominee, Sean Foley. It’s set to premiere at the London Palladium on March 26, 2014. Cowell and Sony Music’s joint venture Syco Entertainment is partnering with Stage Entertainment UK to launch the show that’s written by British comedian Harry Hill.

Hugh Jackman Honored At Zurich Film Festival
Hugh Jackman will receive the Golden Icon Award at the Zurich Film Festival which runs September 26 – October 6. The fest’s most prestigious symbol of recognition is awarded “in appreciation of the lifetime achievements of an actor or actress.” Jackman’s latest film, Prisoners, will be screened at the fest. “Hugh Jackman is in a class by himself as a multi-talented entertainer with a global following,” said fest co-director Karl Spoerri. “There is nothing he can’t do and he proves this time and time again with every project he’s involved in. We’re honored to recognize his brilliant career at the Zurich Film Festival.” Read More »

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Demi Lovato Thursdays Coming To Fox This Fall

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 4:39pm PDT

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. Read More »

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TCA: Simon Cowell Likens Last Year’s ‘X Factor’ Judge Panel To A Bad Dinner Party

By | Thursday August 1, 2013 @ 5:51pm PDT

“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. Read More »

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‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Turns to Paula Abdul For Ratings Jolt

In the reality-TV equivalent of a Hail Mary pass, So You Think You Can Dance has cast Paula Abdul as guest judge tomorrow night. Dance‘s overall audience is down about 27% this summer, compared to last. Abdul, meanwhile, was a resident judge for eight seasons on American Idol back when it was the country’s most popular series by a wide margin. She left the show in a contract-renewal dispute, which, at the time, we all thought was a pretty dumb move, but which now looks less stupid because she can say she was involved with the singing competition during its cultural-phenom years, instead of the penny ante-stuff it has become. Abdul also was a judge/mentor on the first season of The X Factor, when it brought in about half the crowd creator Simon Cowell had boasted it would average — and numbers X Factor would kill for now. Cowell replaced Abdul with Britney Spears, who spent one season making Abdul look really good at it, before discovering she, BritBrit, was neglecting her music career and bowed out.

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Fox Fall Premiere Dates: Network To Debut Lineup Outside Of Premiere Week, Launches Staggered From September To November

By | Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 2:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

As usual, given the number of pre-emptions for postseason baseball, Fox is getting ahead of the pack with early fall launches to give affected series longer uninterrupted runs. Last fall, Fox premiered The X Factor, Glee, Bonesand Mob Doctor in the two weeks leading to premiere week. The same shows (with newbie Sleepy Hollow in for the defunct Mob Doctor on Mondays) again will launch early this year, joined by Fox’s Tuesday comedy block. Only Friday entry Masterchef Junior and the Sunday animated block will open during the official premiere week, with Almost Human, Raising Hope and Enlisted held back until the end of baseball season. Check out Fox’s fall premiere dates after the jump:

Related: Fox New Series First Looks

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News Corp.’s David Hill To Take Oversight Of Fox’s ‘American Idol’ And ‘The X Factor’

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 5:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Veteran News Corp. TV executive David Hill is stepping in to oversee Fox’s flagship reality series American Idol and The X Factor. Hill, who serves as Senior EVP of News Corp. after a long tenure as chairman and CEO of Fox Sports, is not a replacement for Fox’s departing alternative programming president Mike Darnell but will take over his duties on Idol and X Factor. Following Darnell’s recent announcement that he was stepping down, there has been a decision-making vacuum on the two shows, with Idol in particular in dire need of someone to oversee its upcoming overhaul following record-low ratings.

Related: Mike Darnell On His Decision To Leave Fox & His Future

Three of the four judges — Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Randy Jackson — already announced they are not coming back. Executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warrick also are not expected to continue, but even that decision has not been formalized, along with the recruitment of new judges, with negotiations with Idol alumna Jennifer Hudson stalled. Hill’s coming on board is expected to help get things moving. It also will shift the way the two shows are run toward a more traditional network/producer relationship, with Hill serving as the network’s point person for the producers. Read More »

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Mike Darnell On His Decision To Leave Fox & His Future

By | Friday May 24, 2013 @ 2:22pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mike Darnell Leaves FoxShortly after we broke the news of Fox President of Alternative Programming Mike Darnell‘s decision to depart the network after 18 years, I’ve got to speak to Darnell about the bombshell news. “I  remember considering leaving the last time,” he said. “This happens every time my contract is up. It’s always an excruciating decision.” This time he couldn’t resist the temptation of other opportunities. “I love it here, but there are all these other things out there.” What are the things he’s most attracted to? “I will take a little time to feel my way through, but it will be something that is creative and exciting that has a sense of entrepreneurship,” Darnell said, indicating that a career as a producer might be in the cards. He has already signed with Mark Itkin, the co-head of TV at WME.

Fox President Of Alternative Programming Mike Darnell To Depart

As for the timing of his decision to leave Fox and likely the executive ranks, “my dream was to work on a big show that will go down in the history books,” he said. “I achieved that with American Idol, which may be the biggest show that ever was.” But Idol, as well as newbie The X Factor, had been taking up a lot of Darnell’s time over the last few seasons with a series of shakeups and attempts to keep IdolRead More »

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Fox Unscripted TV Czar Mike Darnell To Exit

By | Friday May 24, 2013 @ 1:32pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mike Darnell Leaves FoxEXCLUSIVE: The reality TV landscape will never be the same. After 18 years at Fox, the dean of unscripted TV executives, Fox’s President of Alternative Programming Mike Darnell, is stepping down. He will stay on through the end of June, when his current contract is up, and help with the transition. Darnell was offered a new long-term deal at the network but, after long deliberation, decided it was time to move on. Darnell faced similar agonizing soul-searching several years ago when he was offered rich producing deals elsewhere but ultimately opted to stay at Fox, where he’s had free rein on the unscripted side. This time around, he decided to leave the network, which he helped build first with noise-making reality specials like World’s Scariest Police Chases and When Animals Attack! and then with such tentpole series as American Idol and Family Guy. The colorful, unconventional, cowboy hat-wearing Darnell never shied away from controversy, relishing in the blockbuster attention projects like the Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? special and hit series Joe Millionaire brought on. In a  testament to Darnell’s importance to Fox and parent News Corp, company chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch weighed in on his departure. “Mike took risks at a critical time and was a pioneering force in shaping the reality programming genre that exists today,” Murdoch said. “He’s a smart and fearless executive who will be missed.”

Related: Mike Darnell On His Decision To Leave Fox & His Future

Darnell is expected to take some time off before making his next move, which I hear likely will be in the producing/entrepreneurial arena. “I’m extremely grateful that Fox has offered me a new long-term contract (and anyone who knows me won’t believe I’m saying this), but I’ve decided it’s time for a change,” Darnell said. “With my current deal ending in June, and having been here for 18 years (kind of a record in Hollywood), I had to make a decision: either stay (and basically admit to myself I was going to retire at Fox … not a terrible choice) or leave and try something new. I’ve been in ‘Reality’ since before it was even called that, and it has truly been an amazing ride. However, the world has changed drastically over the last few years, and now with hundreds of channels and limitless ways to watch television, I’ve decided this was the perfect time to take advantage of the rapidly changing marketplace. To say I am going to miss everyone here and that the people at Fox are like a family to me would be the understatement of the decade.  I have so many people to thank (and I will call all of you!), but first and foremost, I want to thank Kevin Reilly, Peter Rice, Chase Carey and Rupert Murdoch for all their amazing support over these many years,” the exec said in a statement Friday.

Related: Anyone Care Who Won ‘American Idol’?

Fox is expected to begin the search for Darnell’s successor, who will navigate veteran American Idol and The X Factor through their upcoming overhauls, soon as Idol is looking to rebound from all-time low ratings. “Mike has been a trailblazer for the entire industry and has made innumerable contributions to the growth and success of the network over the past two decades,” said Rice, Chairman of Fox Networks Group. “His passion for – and dedication to – television knows no bounds. He is like a member of the family, and Fox won’t be the same without him. While we wish he would’ve stayed forever, we regretfully accept his decision.”

Related: Jennifer Hudson In Talks For ‘American Idol’ Judge Gig
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First Look At New ‘X Factor’ Judges: Photo

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 11:12am PDT

The first photos of the new The X Factor judges panel have surfaced, with (from left) Paulina Rubio, Demi Lovato, Kelly Rowland and Simon Cowell on duty yesterday for auditions in Charleston, SC. Hurry Fox, take a picture before the lineup changes — again.

Related: Rowland & Rubio Confirmed As New ‘X Factor’ Judges

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Kelly Rowland & Paulina Rubio Confirmed As New ‘X Factor’ Judges

By | Monday May 20, 2013 @ 6:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox has officially announced that Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio will join Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato as judges on the third season of The X Factor. “It’s taken more than a decade, but I’m delighted to finally be on a panel with three girls (I think!),” Cowell said. “Paulina and Kelly both have great taste and massive experience in the music industry, and together with Demi, this is going to be a fun panel. It just feels like the time to do something different.” Rowland was a judge on Season 8 of the UK version of X Factor.

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Kelly Rowland, Paulina Rubio In Talks To Join ‘X Factor’

By | Sunday May 19, 2013 @ 6:39pm PDT

Former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland and Mexican singer-actress Paulina Rubio are in negotiations to join Fox‘s The X Factor alongside Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato. They’d be filling the judges’ seats vacated by LA Reid and Britney Spears. Both have previous experience: Rowland served as a judge on the award-winning eighth season of the UK version in 2011, while Rubio was a coach on the second season of La Voz… México. In March, she also signed on as a coach on Telemundo’s children’s singing competition show La Voz Kids, airing this spring. X Factor US is set to film auditions in Charleston, SC, this Tuesday and Wednesday. That leaves little time for the ink to dry ahead of an official announcement from the network, which Cowell tweeted will be revealed Monday. X Factor‘s third season will debut this fall.

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MundoFox To Do Spanish-Language ‘X Factor’ For Kids

By | Thursday April 25, 2013 @ 6:59am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox sibling MundoFox will produce El Factor X, an original Spanish-language version of The X Factor, which will premiere this summer. Produced by FremantleMedia Latin America for MundoFox, El Factor X will feature aspiring singers from 8 to 15 years old, both solo artists and vocal groups. El Factor X joins Telemundo’s La Voz Kids, a Spanish-language version of The Voice for kids.

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Mario Lopez Back As ‘X Factor’ Host; Khloe Kardashian Not Returning

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 10:00am PDT

The Extra co-host Mario Lopez is coming back for another season hosting Fox’s The X Factor, but Khloe Kardashian is not. “Khloe Kardashian will not be returning to co-host The X Factor. We really enjoyed working with her and wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” X Factor producers said today. Both Lopez and the E! reality star were named as the new hosts of the competition series’ second season in October 2012. A seasoned hosting pro, Lopez easily fronted the show but Kardashian struggled, earning the mockery of many viewers. In today’s announcement about Lopez’s return, X Factor’s main man made no mention of Kardashian’s departure. “I’m thrilled Mario is back for Season Three of The X Factor. Hosting a live show and keeping the judges — especially Demi — in line, is not an easy job, but Mario is a pro and we are glad he’s coming back,” Simon Cowell said in statement.

Related: Fox & ‘American Idol’ Creator Resolve ‘X Factor’ Lawsuit Read More »

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Fox & ‘American Idol’ Creator Resolve ‘X-Factor’ Lawsuit

By | Friday March 29, 2013 @ 4:51pm PDT

The legal battle between American Idol creator Simon Fuller and Fox over The X-Factor is over. Sources confirm to Deadline that the two sides have reached a confidential settlement and are moving to have the case dismissed with prejudice. Fuller filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the network and the production company Freemantle Media over The X-Factor just before it was set to debut in America. The July 20, 2011 complaint claimed that Fox and Fremantle went back on a 2005 promise to put in writing that Fuller would receive an executive producer credit and a hefty fee on any American version of X Factor. At that time Fuller was suing X-Factor creator and now former American Idol judge Simon Cowell in the U.K. for copyright infringement and breach of contract over what the Idol creator calls “striking similarities” between the Pop Idol and X Factor formats. The 2005 agreement was intended to make peace between the two Brits as Idol started to explode Stateside The peace held six years until Cowell moved to Read More »

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