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.
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 will be a slave 4 Simon Cowell, reports say.
The oft-troubled pop starlet with a long string of hits ("I'm a Slave 4 You," "Toxic," etc.) looks to be joining Cowell's "The X Factor" after an epic negotiation, with a reported $15 million payday.
The figure, if accurate, would instantly make Spears among TV's highest-paid stars. The singer's personal and financial affairs have been under the conservatorship of her father for the last several years after she suffered a highly publicized emotional meltdown.
However, none of the parties involved is willing to confirm anything. A Fox spokeswoman gave Show Tracker a "no comment," while a spokeswoman for Cowell wouldn't even confirm that the show was talking with Spears.
"X Factor" is looking to fill up its judges' table after Cowell dumped first-season judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. Cowell and fellow judge L.A. Reid will return for season 2 in the fall.
What do you think of "X Factor" possibly hiring Spears?
The search for the new "X Factor" judges continues as the Black Eyed Peas' Fergie confirmed on Thursday that she's not planning to join the reality singing competition as a judge this season.
The singer was talking to "Access Hollywood" when she addressed the rumors regarding her involvement in Simon Cowell's show.
"I know there were talks last season and this season," Fergie said. "But it's just not -- Simon said before [that] timing is everything and it's not the right time for me."
The singer, who is currently taking a break from the Black Eyed Peas, also said: "I mean, I love Simon and I love the show. It's just that last year, nor this year, do I have the time to commit to that sort of commitment because I would be somebody who would really throw myself into it, as I do with all my projects."
Fergie isn't the only name that's been floated as a potential judge for the Fox show's second season. Other names in the wind include LeAnn Rimes, Britney Spears (reportedly offered $12 million to sit at the judges' table) and Janet Jackson (who told TheInsider.com that she'd turned down an offer).
But Deadline.com says that Spears has been offered $10 million for the gig, which would put her just under the $12 million that Jennifer Lopez is making at the rival "American Idol."
Cowell sacked judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul after the first season of "X Factor" produced lower-than-expected ratings last fall. As a recording artist who has sold more than 100 million records--as well as a longtime tabloid fixture--Spears could give the program an instant PR boost.
Simon Cowell is close to picking new judges for the American version of "The X Factor," but the acerbic judge says he's been buried under a pile of résumés.
"A lot more people have entered the fray this year," Cowell told reporters during a conference call Wednesday. "We have waited for people to contact us."
Who's doing the contacting? According to published reports, Janet Jackson, Fergie, Britney Spears and most recently LeAnn Rimes are top prospects under consideration. Cowell wouldn't comment on any of those names, although in the past he has repeatedly expressed a desire to get Mariah Carey on the show.
Cowell recently dumped Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger from the judges' panel, leaving only himself and record mogul L.A. Reid.
The second season will begin shooting live auditions next month, but Cowell says those won't be filmed, so there's no rush to name the new judges. "It will happen over the next few weeks," he said.
Simon Cowell would love to find a special way to honor the late Whitney Houston on "The X Factor" -- as long as his pals at "American Idol" and "The Voice" don't beat him to it.
"It's going to be a whole different feeling when contestants come out and sing her songs, because she's not around anymore," the tart-tongued British impresario told reporters Wednesday afternoon. "It's sad."
During a conference call with journalists, fellow "X Factor" judge L.A. Reid picked up a reporter's suggestion and said an on-air Whitney salute would be a great idea when "X Factor" returns in the fall. In November, the show devoted an episode to the songs of Michael Jackson; in attendance were several Jackson family members, including the late singer's mother.
"I've got a feeling we're going to see a Whitney tribute on 'The Voice' and 'Idol' before us," Cowell remarked, adding that "Factor" would have to find a "different" way of doing it. "We're going to continue to pay tribute to Whitney. ... Her songs literally are timeless. ... Whether we find anyone as good as her, that's a whole different ball game."
Reid, however, batted aside some reports that indicated Houston was being weighed for a judges' role at the show prior to her death.
"We loved Whitney and we would certainly have considered her, but it never came to that," Reid said. "There was interest, but we really didn't get that far.
In one corner, Simon Cowell. In the other, his former boss on "American Idol," Nigel Lythgoe.
Lythgoe has zinged Cowell on Twitter, just as Cowell says he is getting ready to announce "surprises," presumably related to new judges and a host for the Season 2 rollout of "The X Factor" on Fox this fall.
Cowell proposed late Thursday that the winner of the U.S. "X Factor" could have a "super-final" sing-off with the winners of "Idol" — which Lythgoe executive produces — and NBC's "The Voice."
"Just a thought," Cowell tweeted. "I'd be up for it."
Lythgoe had a thought too: Forget it. "The problem is the 'Idol' winner will be a star by then," Lythgoe wrote via Twitter.
Slam! As "Idol" has lost ratings steam this season, Lythgoe and "Idol" judge Randy Jackson have argued that it still has a huge advantage over the other singing shows given its long record of producing recording stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Scotty McCreery. Neither "X Factor" or "The Voice" has done that yet, although it's early — "The Voice" just started its second season.
Meanwhile, Cowell — who had his own ratings issues on "X Factor"— is focused on starting over after a housecleaning that booted judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger along with host Steve Jones. Numerous reports have indicated that Janet Jackson is about to be tapped for a role, although nothing official has been announced yet.
Nicole Scherzinger had it coming on "The X-Factor."
That's what Rachel Crow fans are saying today upon hearing the news that Scherzinger was fired from the Fox talent show along with co-judge Paula Abdul and host Steve Jones during a bit of Simon Cowell-directed housecleaning.
Now, there will be plenty of debate about whether Abdul and Jones deserved their pink slips. But Scherzinger? Let's just say that her critics are absolutely crowing about her departure.
Here are just a few of the gloats broadcast on Twitter:
--"Is it Rachel Crow's revenge?"
--"I hope Rachel Crow got to deliver the news to her."
--And this, from Bonnie Fuller, editor of HollywoodLife.com: "#xfactor: Nicole Scherz gone. She sealed her fate refusg 2 vote between Rachel Crow + Marcus Canty.
Fuller is referring to the viewer backlash that took place when Scherzinger refused -- refused! -- to do her job as a judge and actually, you know, judge.
Under "The X-Factor's" format, contestants compete each week according to viewer voting based on the previous week's performance. The bottom two competitors face off in a live "sing-for-your-life" showdown, which judges use as the final determination as to whom to send home. In the case of a tie, the viewers' votes determine the outcome.
In the week that triggered all the controversy, fan favorite and 13-year-old phenom Rachel Crow squared off against Marcus Canty, and the pint-sized Crow, by nearly all accounts, delivered the far superior performance.
But Scherzinger just couldn't bring herself to make a decision. Instead she -- SOB! SNIFF! DAB AT HEAVILY MADE-UP EYES WITH TISSUE! -- allowed voters to decide, based on the previous week's performance. "I can't, I can't make this decision, please, I can't make this decision!" she said tearfully.
Long story short, victory was handed to Canty, Crow collapsed on stage and cried her eyes out, and viewers wanted Scherzinger's head on a stick.
It even led to criticism about the show's elimination process. After all, what's the point of having a "save-me" song if it really won't matter in a deadlock situation?
Do you think Scherzinger got what she deserved? What do you think about the shakeup on the show? And, looking forward to Season 2 of "X-Factor": Who would you like to nominate for judges table?
As you might imagine, this story will continue to unfold throughout the day, so keep checking back for the latest news.
The folks at "American Idol" do really wish their competitors all the best. Even if their shows are derivative and not as successful as "Idol."
That message came through loud and clear Sunday afternoon, as the "Idol" judges, host Ryan Seacrest and show producers met reporters at the semi-annual TV press tour in Pasadena and shot a few poison darts in the direction of "The X Factor," the rival singing show developed by erstwhile "Idol" judge Simon Cowell.
"We're the original, we kind of invented this whole game that everybody now copied," said Randy Jackson, the sole remaining member of "Idol's" original judging trio with Cowell and Paula Abdul (now also on "X Factor"). He appeared onstage Sunday alongside fellow judges Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Jennifer Lopez, whose career has resurged because of "Idol." "Simon has done well with his show. Probably not meeting the expectations he wanted, but we wish him well."
Of course, the situation had to be handled with some delicacy, because "X Factor" and "Idol" have both become bulwarks for the Fox network, albeit at different times of year ("X Factor" just wrapped its inaugural run last month, while "Idol" rolls out its 11th season Jan. 18).
But the "Idol" folks may be feeling the heat. In addition to comparisons with "X Factor," "Idol" will have to fend off another challenge from "The Voice," which returns to the NBC schedule this month. Earlier on Sunday, Fox programming chief Kevin Reilly told reporters that the network was prepared to see lower ratings for "Idol" given its age and competition.
When the subject of "The Voice" came up, Jackson broke in: "I will tell you one thing: We will never rip off 'Star Trek' like 'The Voice' did with spinning chairs." He also proclaimed "Idol" "the most authentic talent show."
Even Mike Darnell, who as Fox's reality chief has to maintain diplomatic relations with both "Idol" and "X Factor," called the latter program "over the top, campy, [and] louder" than "Idol." When a reporter noted that first-season "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson would mentor contestants on "The Voice" — which could be viewed as an act of betrayal, given that "Idol" gave her an invaluable platform with which to launch her career — Darnell couldn't resist a swipe: "We're not hiring a lot of people on 'The Voice' to be on our show."
Well, all right then.
With all this thinly veiled acrimony in the air, it was up to Seacrest to restore some civility to the proceedings. And that he did by sidestepping speculation that he's bound to replace Matt Lauer on NBC's morning powerhouse "Today." When a reporter pressed him on the subject, Seacrest simply said that he couldn't comment.
"I can't imagine life without 'American Idol,' " Seacrest told the crowd.
Melanie Amaro, the freshly crowned Season 1 winner of "The X Factor," sounded tired and perhaps still a little dizzy after her big win as she took reporters' questions over the phone Friday morning. It was understandable: She'd had no sleep since getting the life-changing news Thursday night, having given what she estimated to be around 30 interviews in the intervening hours.
She wouldn't release details about her plans for a forthcoming album. ("I'm going to keep that as a surprise," she said, adding, "I'm just going to say that you should look forward to it and know that I'm going to make some great music.") But even exhausted, Amaro, who revealed only the occasional hint of the Caribbean accent she slipped so comfortably into midway through the season, was unfailingly gracious and thoughtful as she addressed such topics as which contestant she felt had been her biggest competition, how she managed to forgive Simon Cowell for sending her home prematurely, and whether she had believed she'd actually win it all.
Here's some of what she had to say:
On what was going through her head when she won: It's so surreal. I feel amazing. I feel as though I'm in a dream. This is not real. Last night was an amazing thing for me … I was so shocked … I feel so blessed.
On what she's going to do with the prize money: I'm definitely going to buy myself a foot massager and buy my mom a new house.
On who she felt had been her biggest competition: I thought Chris Rene was my biggest competition [because] everyone knew he was an original artist and he wrote his own music and he connected well with everyone.
On how she thinks her talent compared to the other finalists: I think my talent was a gift, and I think I had a big range, a stronger range than a lot of the other contestants. I think me doing what I do with all of my heart kind of put me apart from a lot of the other contestants, because when I sing, I sing with all of me. I sing to the very, very pit of my soul.