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:
Related: ‘X Factor’ Musical ‘I Can’t Sing’ Delays Previews By Two Days
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. Read More »
They meet again! After a scheduling move by NBC pitted the network’s The Voice and Fox’s The X Factor during their premiere week, the two singing competition series will go head-to-head again on Tuesday after Fox rescheduled tonight’s episode because of baseball rain delay. “It what’s known as a total f up,” is how X Factor Simon Cowell summed up the situation on Twitter.
Fox first attempted to air X Factor tonight as scheduled on the East Coast despite a baseball rain delay that bled into primetime. After getting word that Game 3 of NLCS wouldn’t resume before the end of Fox’s primetime at 10 PM ET, the network began airing X Factor on the East Coast at about 8:40 PM. But about an hour later, word came that the game would start momentarily, prompting Fox to pull the X Factor feed to switch back to baseball. However, the game did not start right away but after a portion of a Mindy Project repeat. Compounding Fox’s woes tonight, a technical error had the East Coast feed of The X Factor air simultaneously on the West Coast.
As a result, X Factor has been pre-empted on the West Coast tonight, with an X Factor repeat airing instead. Tonight’s conclusion of the “Judges’ Homes round will air in its entirety next Tuesday from 8-10 PM. In addition to facing the hourlong Tuesday edition of The Voice, X Factor will preempt Fox’s fledgling Tuesday … Read More »
I hear that Britney Spears is close to a deal to join Simon Cowell on the judging panel of The X Factor in Season 2. Spears had been in talks for the gig for over a month, but I hear that the two sides are now headed for the final stretch after a big breakthrough over the weekend when major deal points were agreed upon. As we previously reported, following an initial discussion, the pop star received a $10 million offer to join the second season of Fox’s singing competition. I hear that her actual salary will end up being more than that, probably closer to $15 million and possibly exceeding the $12 million Jennifer Lopez received on American Idol last season. Cowell and Fox had focused on getting Spears on board before moving to filling the other vacant judge chair on the show. The recruitment of Spears would bring the star power Cowell & Co. had been looking for after their decision to replace first-season X Factor judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger.
In his courtship of Spears, Cowell has been effusive in his public praise for the Toxic singer as a prospective X Factor judge. “I’m fascinated by Britney,” he said during a radio interview with Billy Bush in February. “The fact that she’s one of the most talked about — not just pop stars but people — in the world today, … Read More »
Simon Cowell may soon have a new venue to go head-to-head with his longtime rival, American Idol creator Simon Fuller: Both are planning musicals for London’s West End. Cowell wants to build a stage show around his global franchise X Factor. Cowell has approached Brit comedian Harry Hill to write the book and comedy music producer Steve Brown — who has worked with UK X Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson — to come up with musical ideas. Cowell’s production company Syco tells me that it’s still in “very early discussions” about the show. Hill fronts popular ITV comedy TV Burp. Its latest season starts airing soon — right before the current UK run of The X Factor. The comedian pokes fun at clips of the previous week’s TV shows, often singling out Cowell’s music contest. Brown wrote the music for TV Burp and has also written for Cowell’s regular UK TV presenters Ant’n’Dec, so it’s all very much in the family.
Fuller — who is suing for an executive producer credit on the U.S. version of X Factor — is a step ahead with his planned West End stage musical Viva Forever, based on the songs of his pop group the Spice Girls. Producer Judy Craymer, who dreamed up the worldwide Mamma Mia! phenomenon, begins workshops next month and hopes to open Viva Forever by March 2013. The show promises “a glimpse of the underbelly of TV talent shows.” Brit TV comedian Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous) has written the book. Read More »
Simon Cowell Tries To Deflect Flak From ‘Red Or Black?’
The music and TV mogul said today “human error” was to blame after a man who did time for domestic abuse, Nathan Hageman, won the £1M jackpot on the game show’s opening night. Producer Cowell said that ITV bosses were “delighted” with Red or Black? despite the cloud over the debut and predicted that the show would be in 30 territories –-including the US-– within 12 months. He described as “disgusting” the allegations of violence against a woman, but stopped short of urging Hageman to hand back his jackpot. “I know what I would do,” he said. “I would give away part of the money to the person he had the altercation with and a charity.” Also today, news emerged that ITV ordered a pilot episode of Red or Black? eight years ago, but decided the skill-free format wouldn’t work. “I didn’t believe people would like to see someone win a vast sum of money, with no skills at all involved. Second, gambling is not a spectator sport, you get an adrenaline rush from participating in it,’ said ITV’s Claudia Rosencrantz, who commissioned the pilot. Cowell, whose X Factor debuts in the U.S. on Fox on Sept. 21, was not involved with the show then.
Hollywood Going Beyond Bollywood With Indian Releases
It’s natural to think of Bollywood when the subject of Indian film comes up. But India’s film industry is among the world’s … Read More »
2ND UPDATE 1:15 PM: Simon Fuller’s legal battle with Fox and FremantleMedia is quickly turning nasty, with the two sides throwing salvos at each other. Would they be able to bury the hatchet and maintain a decent working relationship on the upcoming 11th season of American Idol while the legal fight is going on? Here is the latest: Fuller’s attorney fired back at Fox and FremantleMedia’s claims that his lawsuit is without merit. “Fox’s position that Fuller’s claim lacks merit because the parties have not “approved” him as executive producer is absurd,” Fuller’s attorney Dale Kinsella said in a statement. “Fox is contractually obligated to approve Fuller as executive producer and compensate him accordingly, and it is because of the breach of the 2005 binding agreement that the case was filed. Fox appears to be admitting openly that they have failed to honor the contract terms.” And in the end, the spat may come down to Simon vs. Simon just like the original litigation between Fuller and Cowell in the U.K. Word is the key third party that had to give approval for Fuller’s EP credit on The X Factor to go through was Cowell and he didn’t. Of course, Cowell is not part of the new lawsuit, so it will come down to dissecting any and all contingencies built into Fuller’s 2005 agreement with Fox and Fremantle.
UPDATE 10:15: Fox and FremantleMedia just issued a statement in response to Simon Fuller’s X Factor … Read More »
After a week of behind-the-scene drama, Fox, and X Factor USA producers Simon Cowell’s Syco TV and FremantleMedia this morning issued a statement confirming the judge switch on the upcoming reality series. After she was let go 10 days ago and then declined to return to the British X Factor, Cole on Friday night was asked to return to the U.S. show. While the offer raised speculation that it may be a ploy to get the producers out of paying Cole’s $1.5 million fee, according to British papers, the offer was not tied to the singer’s fee, which she would get regardless.
FOX, FREMANTLEMEDIA NORTH AMERICA AND SYCO TV today confirm Nicole Scherzinger will be replacing Cheryl Cole on the judging panel of THE X FACTOR. Nicole will join Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Paula Abdul on their search across America to find the next global superstar or group to win the life-changing $5 million dollar recording deal. Nicole has previously joined Simon Cowell as a guest judge on The X Factor for the UK version of the show in 2010. Steve Jones will act as sole host of THE X FACTOR.
The drama continues. After she was dropped from the U.S. X Factor and declined to return to the original British show, Cheryl Cole now may rejoin the Fox version. British papers and TMZ are reporting tonight that Cole has been asked to come back to the U.S. X Factor. Speculation is that if Cole turns down the offer, the producers of the Fox series would be off the hook for the $1.5 million the British singer was guaranteed for the gig. The latest twist in the saga may explain why Fox, Cowell or X Factor co-producer FremantleMedia never officially confirmed Cole’s exit. Cowell normally relishes controversy, but this is a bit too much even for him. With the Cole drama still ongoing, over the past couple of days he also has been forced to defend himself from accusation that the current season of Britain’s Got Talent has been rigged.
Right after NBC, it is Fox’s presenting its fall schedule tomorrow. After making some major scheduling moves last year with shifting American Idol to Wednesdays and Thursdays and launching a Glee-anchored comedy block on Tuesdays, the network is expected to bet on stability this year, especially after both gambles this season largely paid off. Idol is expected to keep its Wednesday-Thursday airing pattern, which would be mirrored in the fall by The X Factor, whose 90-minute Wednesday show will probably be used to launch a new comedy the way American Idol has done it.
I hear the most anticipated new Fox series, prehistoric drama Terra Nova, which had been rumored to launch either on Monday or Thursday, looks Monday-bound. Conventional wisdom has it that Fox should use a reliable performer like House to launch its highest-profile new series, and that has been the scenario most speculated about. But Terra Nova has tested great as a four-quadrant show with a very broad appeal, so I won’t be surprised if Fox decides to make a switch and put Terra Nova at 8 PM to capture the family audience. Terra Nova doesn’t really need a lead-in — after all, it’s a Steven Spielberg-produced show with dinosaurs — so it could be a self-starter like Glee proved to be this season. And House is probably better suited for 9 PM.
Speaking of Glee, it is expected to once … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of getting a new job as a judge on Fox’s X Factor, Paula Abdul is also getting a new agency representation. Abdul has just signed with CAA. For the past almost 2 years, since her abrupt departure from American Idol in the summer of 2009, Abdul had been at UTA. But she has recently been at odds with the agency over commissions on her blockbuster deal for X Factor. UTA has argued that it is entitled to the commission while the singer has claimed that she shouldn’t pay as she got the job because of her pre-existing relationship with Simon Cowell. Abdul had threatened to leave if the agency didn’t agree not to commission her for X Factor. That has now become a reality. At CAA, she joins her pal Cowell who is also repped there. In addition to her stint on American idol, Abdul also had her own show, Live to Dance, on CBS.
Mad Men, which has won best international show at the Brit TV BAFTA awards for the past two years, is up against Boardwalk Empire, Glee, and Danish crime thriller The Killing. This year’s BAFTA TV awards will take place at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on May 22, fronted by chat show host Graham Norton. BBC1 will televise the show on the night.
Misfits, the sci-fi drama that U.S. broadcasters are sniffing around for a remake, leads the nominations in four categories. The BBC’s Sherlock has three nominations in total, as do Channel 4’s drama Any Human Heart and the BBC’s The Road to Coronation Street, the story of how the UK’s longest-running soap nearly never made it on air. Other names known in Hollywood up for awards include Steve Coogan and Gillian Anderson, and The X Factor is nominated for Entertainment Programme.
The BBC leads the broadcaster noms with 51 nominations in total, followed by Channel 4 (26), ITV (8) and Sky (6), the highest-ever number of nominations for Rupert Murdoch’s pay-TV service, including the first-ever for a 3D program:
Philips British Academy TV Awards 2011 Nominations
Jim Broadbent/Any Human Heart/Channel 4
Benedict Cumberbatch/Sherlock/BBC One
Daniel Rigby/Eric and Ernie/BBC Four
Matt Smith/Doctor Who/BBC One
Anna Maxwell Martin/South Riding/BBC One
Vicky McClure/This Is England ’86/Channel 4
Natalie Press/Five Daughters/BBC One
Juliet Stevenson/Accused/BBC One
Brendan Coyle/Downton Abbey/ITV1
Martin Freeman/Sherlock/BBC One
Johnny Harris/This Is England ’86/Channel 4
Gillian Anderson/Any Human Heart/Channel 4
Lynda Baron/The Road to Coronation Street/BBC Four
Jessie Wallace/The Road to Coronation Street/BBC Four
Rob Brydon/The Rob Brydon Show/BBC Two
Stephen Fry/QI/BBC One
Harry Hill/Harry Hill’s TV Burp/ITV1
Graham Norton/The Graham Norton Show/BBC One
Read More »
Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of TV, said this weekend that Simon Cowell will not be one of the main judges on the British X Factor. ITV is still holding out that Cowell will appear in the live shows toward the end of this fall’s series -– even if it is just by video link. How desperate is that? Fincham has told the Sunday Mirror: “We are talking to him about ways he can have an on-screen presence later in the show. He will not be a weekly judge.”
Given that Cowell occupies a space somewhere between David Beckham and God in the UK national consciousness, this is a huge blow to ITV. Cowell and the broadcaster have been wrangling for weeks over how Cowell could do both the UK and U.S. versions at the same time. The UK X Factor begins in August, while the U.S. Fox version starts in September. The UK auditions had already been moved back to May to accommodate Cowell. ITV suggested providing a private jet to zoom Cowell back and forth across the pond. Cowell said no. Then ITV suggested moving production of the Fox X Factor to New York instead. “Uh uh,” said Cowell, who instead proposed shifting the UK show to the beginning of January. But ITV couldn’t face losing the estimated £22 million ($36 million) profit it makes from the show, split with Cowell’s production company Syco and co-producer Talkback Thames. … Read More »
While he continues to do his tedious fan dance as to who will judge the U.S. X Factor, Simon Cowell has reportedly told Brit broadcaster ITV that he will not be judging this year’s home-grown version. According to the Daily Mail, Cowell has dropped out because of health fears. Coping with running two X Factors on either side of the Atlantic, as well as producing both versions of Got Talent and ITV’s new game show Red Or Black, is too much –- even for the famously workaholic Cowell apparently. ITV mainstay presenters Ant ‘n’ Dec will host Cowell’s new game show, which begins filming in June for a September premiere. Even Cowell’s mother Julie has told him to slow down in case the 51-year-old has a heart attack. Syco tells me that “everything is still being discussed.” Reps for co-producer Talkback Thames and ITV declined to comment on the Mail story, describing it as “speculation.” But one insider tells me that you just have to look at how much overlap there will be between the runs of the Fox and ITV versions to see that it is just not humanly possible, even if Cowell only does the live shows in the U.K. and gets a private plane from ITV to shuttle him between Los Angeles and London every week. The U.S. and UK versions of X Factor both start airing in August and reach their finales at Christmas. … Read More »
On a call promoting the new X Factor recording booths that are being dispatched to six cities for auditions, boss Simon Cowell shared his frustration over the dragged-out decision on who the remaining two judges will be, joining him and Antonio “L.A.” Reid on the panel. “We are still having nightly arguments, trying to get everyone to agree,” Cowell said. “If you ask everyone, you have 25 different opinions.” He admitted the process shows “publicly complete and utter indecisiveness.” He had previously hoped to have everyone in place by the start of the show’s auditions March 27. As for names, Cowell confirmed that Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie is a name that “was put forward” but, like with anyone else, there is a long process of checking availability and willingness to commit. “This is not a two-days-a-week job,” Cowell said, referring to the judging gigs on other competition shows, including American Idol. Another name that had just popped up was that of Gloria Estefan. Cowell said that the singer unexpectedly “turned up” today at the X Factor Miami auditions “and did a great job. She gave everyone support and encouragement.” Other female singers that have been constantly bandied about for X Factor jobs are Cheryl Cole, Mariah Carey, Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul.
During a live chat on Twitter to drum up interest in the upcoming auditions for his new Fox reality series, the incredibly press savvy X Factor creator-star judge-executive producer Simon Cowell said that Cheryl Cole, judge on the British X Factor and an early frontrunner for a gig on the Fox version, is still in contention. “Cheryl is in the mix,” Cowell wrote. “Talking to the network this week, hope to announce the 2 remaining judges very shortly.” So far, music producer-executive Antonio “L.A.” Reid is the only confirmed judge to join Cowell at the four-person table of X Factor.
No much other news from the chat. “What will you do if the show isn’t as successful as it is in the U.K?,” someone asked. Cowell’s reply: “Book a fast flight home.. !”
Overall, Cowell sounded pumped up about the show. “I miss judging in America!,” he tweeted. Auditions for X Factor begin March 27 in Los Angeles.
Fox just officially announced that Antonio “L.A.” Reid, who resigned yesterday as chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group, will join Simon Cowell on the judging panel of The X Factor. “L.A. was my number one choice to sit alongside me on the show,” Cowell said. “In my opinion, he is one of the greatest ever music executives and of course a fantastic writer and producer. I am thrilled he has agreed to join the show, and for any artist auditioning, they know they have the chance to meet a true star-maker.” Auditions for X Factor begin March 27.
Well, now there will be two judges on big singing-competition series dropping Mariah Carey’s name. Sources confirm that Island Def Jam Music Group chairman and CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid is in negotiations to join Simon Cowell’s upcoming X Factor on Fox to serve as as a judge alongside Cowell. Reid has guided the careers of Carey, Justin Bieber, Usher, Rihanna, Kanye West, Pink and Toni Braxton. American Idol judge Randy Jackson, of course, has also worked with Carey, a fact he loves to bring up on the veteran reality show. And Cowell has said publicly that he wants Carey herself to be a judge on X Factor. Along with the judge search, Fox and Cowell are also looking for a host for the series, with Enrique Iglesias among those approached. X Factor auditions begin March 27.
EXCLUSIVE: Simon Cowell and Fox may be looking to shake things up in the on-air department of the upcoming reality series X Factor. I hear pop star Enrique Iglesias has been approached to star on the singing competition series. But in an interesting twist, I hear he is being courted to be the host of the show.
Having a music superstar as host would certainly set X Factor apart from the other reality series, which are fronted predominantly by TV and radio hosts/presenters. That includes Fox’s American Idol (Ryan Seacrest), ABC’s Dancing with the Stars (Tom Bergeron) and NBC upcoming The Voice (Carson Daly). Coincidentally, Cowell also took a more unusual approach on his NBC talent series America’s Got Talent, tapping actor-comedian Nick Cannon as host.
As for Iglesias, I hear he may be more open to a judging than hosting gig on X Factor. But, with his latest album Euphoria doing well and his most recent single, Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You), peaking at #1 on the US Pop Songs Chart earlier this month, he is reportedly leaning towards sticking with his music career full-time.
Iglesias has crossed paths with Cowell before. While promoting Euphoria, he performed on the British X Factor last year. He has also doubled into acting, including a role in the movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico and guest sports on CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men. Additionally, he has served … Read More »