Category: Simon Cowell

Fall TV: Fox unveils 2012-13 schedule; 'Glee' moves to Thursdays

Glee moves to Thursdays
Fox added three new comedies and two dramas to its slate for the 2012-13 season--including "The Office" alum Mindy Kaling's new laffer and the Kevin Bacon-led thriller "The Following"--and in the process moves "Glee" and "Touch" to new nights. So where will they land?

"The Mindy Project," which stars Kaling as an OBGYN, will help beef up the network's Tuesday comedy block along with new ensemble comedy "Ben and Kate."  The duo will join "New Girl" and "Raising Hope," which means "Glee" is moving to Thursday nights--creating a musical block, with "The X Factor" as its lead-in.

And the Kiefer Sutherland-helmed drama "Touch" makes the move from Thursdays to Fridays, serving as a lead-in to fellow sci-fi drama "Fringe." Will the series find the magic numbers in its new slot or will its ratings continue to decline? The show averaged 8.37 million its first season, with a 2.49 in the 18-49 demo. It'll find itself up against NBC comedies "Community" and "Whitney."

Meanwhile, new series "The Mob Doctor" inherits the medical drama space once occupied by "House" on Mondays. 

For those looking to lessen their degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon, you'll have to wait until midseason, when "The Following," from "The Vampire Diaries" executive producer Kevin Williamson makes its debut; Bacon stars as a former FBI detective on the hunt for a serial killer and his posse of followers. Also, making its debut midseason is the new comedy "The Goodwin Games," which centers on three siblings poised to inherit a large fortune--if they pass a series of unique challenges.

Here's a look at Fox's 2012-2013 primetime schedule.

(All Times ET/PT)

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'X Factor': Will Demi Lovato or Miley Cyrus be fourth judge?

Britney Spears may have some tabloid competition at "The X Factor" judging table, with troubled teen queen Demi Lovato possibly slated to join the singing show.

Lovato, who checked in to rehab in 2010 to deal with bulimia and other issues, is in the final stages of a deal to join Simon Cowell's show, according to a Hollywood Reporter article published Tuesday.

That could put the kibosh on "X Factor" interest in Miley Cyrus, another former teen singing sensation trying to navigate her way to a post-adolescent career. The gossip site Celebuzz reported the Cyrus angle as an exclusive Tuesday, but it appears no firm offer has been made to the former "Hannah Montana" star.

Meanwhile, talks to bring Spears on board the show continue to drag on, as the "Toxic" singer has insisted on various perks that have bogged down negotiations, according to one agent familiar with the situation.

A spokeswoman for "The X Factor" declined to comment. A rep for Cyrus did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Cowell, who will return as a judge this fall along with Antonio "L.A." Reid, fired Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul as judges earlier this year, shortly after "The X Factor" wrapped its first season on Fox.

Who do you think would make the best judges on "The X Factor"?


Britney Spears joining "X Factor" for $15 million

Fans react to idea of Britney on "X Factor"

Paula Abdul axed in "X Factor" shakeup

— Scott Collins (

Photo: Demi Lovato may end up as the fourth judge on Fox's "The X Factor." Credit: Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times.




Sharon Osbourne attacks her 'AGT' boss Simon Cowell


Like many people, Sharon Osbourne is spitting mad at her boss. Unlike many people, she happens to have a boss named Simon Cowell.

In Tuesday's episode of CBS' "The Talk," Osbourne went off on Cowell because an upcoming biography suggests that she left the British version of "The X Factor" because of his romance with ex-judge Danii Minogue. Osbourne admits she disliked Minogue, but said Cowell's alleged dalliance with the comely singer-actress had nothing to do with Osbourne's exit.

"He doesn't really like me," Osbourne said on "The Talk." "So why bring me into your book? I don't want to be in your book. I don't want to know about your fiddling with this one and that one."

The complication is that Cowell is Osbourne's boss on "America's Got Talent," NBC's summer hit. "I work for him," she told viewers. "He'll probably fire me now .... Nobody leaves Simon. He fires you."

The odds of Osbourne's getting canned might have been improved when she added that Cowell suffered from "small-penis syndrome," which led him to crave attention and power as a compensation for his limitations elsewhere. The crowd at "The Talk" seemed both scandalized and delighted by this theory.

Then again, if Cowell craves attention as much as Osbourne claims, she might be in line for a big raise after this outburst. Show Tracker texted Cowell for a response but heard nothing back immediately.

What do you think of the Osbourne-Cowell feud? 


Paula Abdul fired from "The X Factor"

Leah Remini blames Sharon Osbourne for "Talk" firing

Simon Cowell blames other judges for "X Factor" voting snafu

-- Scott Collins (

Photo: Sharon Osbourne has some choice words about Simon Cowell. Credit: Kirk McCoy / Los Angeles Times

Paula Abdul caught in shakeup at Simon Cowell's 'X Factor'

Paula Abdul is the latest victim in a major "X Factor" shakeup

Monday was pink slip day at "The X Factor," with Paula Abdul apparently the latest to get sent packing.

In a major housecleaning, creator and lead judge Simon Cowell decided to boot half the judging quartet from Fox's singing show, which returns for Season 2 this fall. Nicole Scherzinger was likewise shown the door (Fox confirmed Scherzinger's exit but not, for some reason, Abdul's, even after it was reported by multiple media outlets; neither Cowell nor a rep replied to messages Monday night). 

Host Steve Jones was also told his services would no longer be needed. Presumably the only two on-camera personalities returning will be Cowell and fellow judge and music mogul L.A. Reid.

In some ways, the departures are not a surprise. The singing groups mentored by Abdul were eliminated in short order on last fall's shows, a result that irked Cowell. Scherzinger's contestants -- all over 30 -- fared better, but Cowell openly questioned the pop singer's mentoring skills and ridiculed her judging comments as empty. As host, Jones often appeared tense and was reduced to imploring the judges to make up their minds when time ran short. 

Even so, the swiftness of the shakeup came as a major surprise, especially considering the tortuous back and forth over Cheryl Cole's seat at the judging table last year. But one insider said Cowell was shaken by the show's relatively cool ratings reception last fall -- before the premiere, he said "X Factor" could be bigger than "American Idol," his former employer -- and over the season came to believe that big changes were needed. 

Who do you think should replace Abdul, Scherzinger and Jones?


PHOTOS: 'X Factor' dream judges

Steve Jones exits as "X Factor" host

Nicole Scherzinger out on "The X Factor"

-- Scott Collins

Photo: From left, L.A. Reid Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell on "The X Factor." Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox

'X Factor,' 'Idol,' 'Biggest Loser' lead in product placement

XFactor-EpParty-Pepsi_ScBTS_0009[1]Reality shows like "The X Factor," "American Idol" and "The Biggest Loser" may lead the way in product placement on television in terms of dollars, but, according to a study, scripted shows generate far more memorable moments.

For instance, it doesn’t take a house to fall on Tessa Altman for her to know that her new life in the burbs is nothing like her old one in New York City. But it did take a can of sugar-free Red Bull to hit her in the head to drive the point home to viewers.

At least, that’s one scene that stuck out to the audience of “Suburgatory,” making the integration of the energy drink into the ABC sitcom one of the most memorable product placements of the year.

The finding is part of an annual study from Nielsen, a research firm that tracks brands that pop up, either paid or unpaid, in TV shows, and rates the impression of those on-air mentions and placements on the audience. Red Bull in “Suburgatory” was second in viewer recall only to Sheldon on CBS’ hit “The Big Bang Theory” using Purell after handling a live snake.

Among the other well-recalled placements: Det. Beckett (Stana Katic) tools around in a Ferrari on ABC’s cop drama “Castle,” characters play Hasbro board games Scrabble and Monopoly on “Desperate Housewives,” and Subway sandwiches make a high-profile appearance on NBC’s “Chuck.”

For this particular data grab, Nielsen considered only the brands that were both seen and mentioned on network TV shows between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30 of this year. Scores come from the percentage of viewers who could recall, within 24 hours, which products they saw while watching TV shows (excluding the ads).

The industry numbers cruncher also rates the “top 10 prime-time programs with product placement.” Most of those shows — “American Idol,” “The Biggest Loser,” “The X Factor” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” — have multi-year, multimillion-dollar deals in place that include star treatment for sponsor brands.

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Simon Cowell blames other judges for 'X Factor' voting snafu

A disgusted Simon Cowell believes his fellow judges on "The X Factor" may have a problem following directions.

Fans expressed outrage after Nicole Scherzinger could not make up her mind on last week's results show, leading to a deadlock that ended with Rachel Crow being sent home. Under "X Factor" rules, judges are supposed to rescue the contestant in the bottom two who performs the better "save-me" song. Many viewers felt Crow's performance was superior to Marcus Canty's, but Scherzinger tearfully abstained, meaning that the result was decided purely by tallies from at-home voting. TMZ excavated a sound-enhanced clip that seemed to show Paula Abdul urging Scherzinger to go for the deadlock.

The whole outcome left Cowell perturbed at his fellow judges. "It was a just a cock-up," he told Show Tracker in a phone interview. "I don't think they did what they should have done, which is exactly what they were told to do: Vote on who sang the best in the sing-off. And then we got to that ridiculous place where they went to the deadlock."

Cowell of course has good reason to support Crow -- he was mentoring her on the show. The previous week, he stood onstage glaring at Scherzinger and Abdul after they elected to send home Drew Ryniewicz, another of Cowell's charges. (Scherzinger and Abdul reportedly received death threats.)

But Cowell dismissed the notion that "X Factor's" elimination process needs tweaking. "The whole idea was to try and prevent what I call the 'Jennifer Hudson Moment' -- where a really good singer screws up on one night," he said. "On this show you're supposed to give them a reprieve if they do better the following night ... I do stand by what I think is right for the format. Maybe I just need to explain it a bit clearer to everyone."

Cowell -- who as executive producer of "X Factor" hired the other judges and oversees the show -- and Scherzinger have become foils on air, and he admitted that the pop singer has irritated him "a little bit."

But he added: "You pay people to have an opinion .... I'd probably get more irritated if they didn't have an opinion.

"She gets very defensive," Cowell said. "But I'm not gonna criticize her for that. It's all part of the game."


"Glee" recap: The Christmas special

Why "Homeland" was snubbed for SAG nomination

-- Scott Collins

Photo: Rachel Crow, host Steve Jones and Marcus Canty on last week's "The X Factor." Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox


'The X Factor' results: Who made the top 10?

"There is no one disposable contestant left," L.A. Reid said at the outset of Thursday night's "The X Factor" results show, in which the final 11 would shrink to the final 10.

He was right. There were two. And after we …

… sat through an instantly forgotten song by all the remaining acts that host Steve Jones called "wondahful, wondahful, wondahful"

… heard Reid admit to being the jealous type and apologize to Melanie Amaro for not saying nicer things about her performance the previous night

… watched Willow Smith (without much hair to whip back and forth) strut around onstage while singing about being a fireball

… spent way too long contemplating British singer Jessie J's blue-hair/striped-body-stocking getup

… amused ourselves with all of Jones' funny pronunciations ("It's aboot to get tense -- trust me")

… and listened to Jones read off a list of the nine who would definitely survive to sing another week,

those very two disposable acts remained.

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'The X Factor' recap: The top 11 tackle movie songs

The true contenders are starting to emerge on "The X Factor," as it continues its gradual, glitzy march toward a winner. Sure, all 11 acts still competing for the $5 million prize (and the Pepsi commercial –- don't forget the role in the Pepsi commercial -– which host Steve Jones made me guffaw by calling "extraordinary stuff") are talented. But some, we learned pretty clearly on Wednesday night's show, where the contestants tackled songs somehow connected to movies, appear to be more talented than others.

The surprises:

Astro: Holy crumb! Just when I'd started to grow tired of his self-written rap routine (intertwined with established hits), this 15-year-old Brooklyn kid upped the ante in a way that made me realize that, no, seriously, he's for real. On Wednesday, with a rewritten version of Eminem's "Lose Yourself," he dug deep and rapped movingly about grabbing our chances in life and making the most of it. And you know he wrote it fresh this week because he mentioned the deaths of Heavy D and Joe Frazier. It was topical and timeless and meticulously performed, proving that the "Stop Looking at My Mom" kid is not just a one-hit wonder. No matter how America votes, he's got a future.

Rachel Crow: Simon Cowell wasn't kidding when he said he'd been making bad decisions on Crow's behalf. Those teenybopper song choices and cutie-pie, boyish outfits? Completely wrong, as it turns out. This 13-year-old has a mature, throaty, bluesy voice, singing with a resonance beyond her years; it's only her round face that's childlike. (We also now know that Crow has a deep well of emotional experience to draw on, if she chooses.) On Wednesday night, her song was of her choosing, Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind," and she owned it.

Marcus Canty: Yes, Canty's been terrific from the start, but on Rose Royce's "I'm Going Down" from "Car Wash," he showed a vocal vibrancy and shimmering star quality (beyond just that twinkly jacket he got tangled up in mid-song) I'm not sure we'd fully seen before. A serious contender.

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'The X Factor' recap: It's down to 12


In a show that at times sounded like an overproduced amateur hour (Simon Cowell's two questionable picks) and at other times like something out of "Jerry Springer" (those judges are bound and determined to cook up some bad blood between them), "The X Factor" burst into its new "live" format Tuesday night.

It was one weirdly paced 2½ hours of TV, but at the end of the day, after each chunk of singers sang, we were left with 12 more-or-less deserving finalists waved through to next week's shows by the judge/mentors. (For those of you planning to return to see how things progress next week, the finalists will perform live on Wednesday, Nov. 2, with the first voting results revealed the following night.)

We were also left with a sort of strange taste in our mouths (at least I was), and a lingering question about just how much more of Simon Cowell the American TV audience will tolerate. 

Other questions that spring to mind:

How much do you think Ryan Seacrest is secretly paying host Steve Jones to make him look so good? I'd always thought of "American Idol" host Seacrest as a sort of a stiff until Jones came along. Jones seemed even more out of his element than ever hosting the live show, where it fell to him to simultaneously keep things moving by pretending the dramatic stuff (e.g., an eliminated contestant expressing regret for disappointing a judge/mentor) was unexciting while periodically slowing down the action to read canned copy -- er, exciting announcements! -- about the show's corporate sponsors from a teleprompter. It was alarming when he barked at the judges about being pressed for time as they tried in vain to comfort the contestants whose hearts they'd just broken. Maybe the Welsh accent made it sound extra harsh? On the other hand, I'm pretty sure he made it through the whole show without mispronouncing a U.S. locale. (Was he called upon to pronounce any at all?) So at least there was that.

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'The X Factor' recap: Judges pick the final 16 ... er, 17

OK, it's official. Simon Cowell is out of his mind. The good news is that by the end of Tuesday night's episode of "The X Factor," in which each judge decided which four acts in his or her category would be put through to the live shows, and which would be sent home, even Cowell seemed to recognize that he was completely bonkers.

Cowell had a change of heart, which still doesn't quite prove he actually has a heart, but was heartening nevertheless. Because some of his choices were completely and utterly (as he might say) ridiculous.

But let's save Cowell's big last-minute save -- a judges' save before we even get to the live episodes? I guess with a new show, you can make up the rules as you go! For a moment.

First, let's just review how the final 16 initially broke down:

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'The X Factor' strikes sour notes with stars of scripted shows

Stars and producers of several scripted series appeared to take pleasure in the disappointing ratings of the highly touted "The X Factor," which premiered Wednesday on Fox.

"Modern Family" executive producer Steve Levitan and star Eric Stonestreet both took shots via Twitter at the talent competition series. The ABC series, which just won its second consecutive Emmy for outstanding comedy, scored higher ratings in its one-hour season premiere against "The X Factor."

Tweeted Levitan: "It's extremely gratifying that a scripted comedy finally beat an overhyped karaoke contest. Thank you, #Modern Family fans!"

Stonestreet, who plays Cameron Tucker on the series, tweeted, "Thank you modern family fans for watching our show(s) last night. We did great against the XYZ factor."

"Community" star Joel McHale also weighed in. The season premiere of the NBC comedy is pitted against the second installment of "The X Factor" Thursday.

"I hear the Emmyngtons are on X-Factor tonight," tweeted McHale in a reference to his singing group,  which performed during Sunday's Emmys. He asked viewers to tune in to "Community" instead.

"Parks and Recreation" executive producer Michael Schur, who tweets under the name Ken Tremendous, also tweeted that viewers should turn in to the season premieres of the NBC comedies "The Office" and "Parks" rather than "The X Factor."

"Hey goofballs, you should watch #The Office too," he tweeted. "Just don't watch people singing at Simon Cowell. Seriously, what's the point in that?"


Fox gives series order to Kiefer Sutherland drama

Lifetime cancels "Roseanne's Nuts"

— Greg Braxton

Photo: L.A. Reid, left, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell of "The X Factor." Credit: Ray Mickshaw / Fox.







Tweeted Levithan:

'The X-Factor' review: And did we miss Simon Cowell?

Watching, in recent weeks, as Simon Cowell explained that  “The X-Factor” is a completely different show than “American Idol” was a bit like watching Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” explain to her neophyte assistant why two turquoise belts of similar width and style represent utterly distinct looks. Um, OK, if you say so, Miranda.

If the 90-minute preview made available to the media before Wednesday’s premiere on Fox is any indication, “The X Factor” is essentially “American Idol” with a wider participant base and judges who promise to be, aggregately and individually, better than most (though not this last) seasons of “American Idol.” Not only has Paula Abdul taken whatever steps were necessary to appear fit and consistently sensible, the addition of music producer L.A. Reid brings a discerning ear and gravitas to the table that balances Cowell much more evenly than Randy Jackson ever did.

This means, alas, that early on we are treated to a “he says yes, I say no” montage and mini-interview with Cowell saying, “I’ve met my match,” after which the two men do nothing but agree. But steps must be taken to establish Brand X and this is one of them.

When the show opens, in L.A. for open auditions, the fourth judge is Girls Aloud star Cheryl Cole, but by the time they move to Seattle, Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls has taken her place. Cowell has said he replaced Cole because she seemed “bewildered,” but on a first impression, she is much more interesting than Scherzinger, if only for her fabulous Geordie accent. Scherzinger certainly knows her way around reality, having judged on the U.K. version and “The Sing-off” as well as competing on “Dancing With the Stars,” but in early scenes she seems more interested in tearing up and out-glamming “Idol’s” Jennifer Lopez than bringing much to the commentary.

Not that there’s much to say in the early days. Like “American Idol,” “The X Factor” begins with the cattle calls — lots of shots of the crowds, the signs, the hopefuls, the fans — although, this being a new show, things are mercifully accelerated. Viewers are spared the vast quivering middle and see only the very bad and the very good (or at least the quite promising), so there’s not much for the judges to do except admire or dismiss.

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