Tag Archives: Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell’s ‘X Factor’ Will Compete in Different TV Landscape Than Anticipated

Simon Cowell

When Simon Cowell announced his intention to depart “American Idol” at the beginning of last year, the move was applauded as shrewd.   Now, maybe not so much.

The show was looking weary indeed after all the Paula Abdul drama, and he was off to fresh pastures before it completely jumped the shark, it was believed.  His U.S. version of “X Factor” might be just the thing to fill the void if and when “Idol” went kaput.

“X Factor” is different from “Idol,” as he explained to press during that January’s Television Critics Association tour, because it has no age limit and can be solo or group singers — and each judge takes a group of contestants under their wing and mentors them in everything from styling and choreography to song choice. “So essentially the judge is judged as well as the singer.”

How different the picture looks now, even as “X Factor” auditons are taking place across the land and new show announcements are flying.

“American Idol” has been revitalized by charismatic, stardust streaming Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, who work with Randy Jackson as an excellent team.  (That was one of our New Year’s predictions, by the way.)

And NBC’s “The Voice” has come along, preceded by a promotional campaign that looked like an experiment in whether it’s possible to beat audiences into submission with relentless, repetitious hype.

Of course, we all know that “The Voice” is different from “American Idol” because they have neat swiveling chairs with big red panic buttons, and each judge takes a group of contestants under their wing and mentors them.  So essentially the judge is judged as well as the singer.   Hm.   Sound familiar?

Interesting that Simon has recently been saying he’s keeping details of the new “X Factor” under wraps because other producers “watch you and copy you and you see your show on other people’s shows.”

Yes, that’s a problem — no doubt going even further back than “Pop Star” producer Simon Fuller’s 2005 U.K. suit claiming “X Factor” was a copy of his show.

“The Voice”so far has posted  numbers promising a big hit for NBC.  And let’s not forget, the peacock network also has “America’s Got Talent,” produced by none other than Simon Cowell, coming back May 31 and auditions are going on for that show as well.

So, what will all this do to “X Factor” by the time it’s finally unveiled in the fall on Fox, with cohosts Corbin Bleu and Nicole Sherzinger and judges Cowell, L.A. Reid, Cheryl Cole and (?!) Paula Abdul?  Dare we say it?  You be the judge.

With Plethora of Imported TV Stars, It’s Time for Talent Tariff

Alex O'Loughlin

What do Hollywood casting directors have against American actors?  Oh, sure, we’ve been seeing this explosion of Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Irish folk and other English-speaking foreigners on U.S. primetime for several years now, but there hasn’t been any complaining out of fear the U.K would want to take back Hugh Laurie, and goodness knows nobody wanted that.

However, things have gone too far.  Now we have an Australian (Alex O’Loughlin) playing Steve McGarrett on CBS’s new “Hawaii Five-O,” for crying out loud.  Plus, there’s this 13 trillion-dollar national debt thing that makes even ludicrous revenue-generating ideas sound good.  So the time has come for Uncle Sam to make some money off this imported TV star phenomenon.  The time has come for a Talent tariff.

Piers Morgan

Think of the increasingly annoying Piers Morgan, for instance.  The arrogant Fleet Street tabloid editor — whose claims to fame include being fired in the wake of the revelation that Daily Mirror photos purportedly showing British troops mistreating Iraqi prisoners were faked.   Brighton-born Simon Cowell ordained Guildford-born Piers as his substitute (a.k.a. “the mean one”), when Simon himself was contractually prevented (“American Idol”) from being an “America’s Got Talent” judge — and America went along.    This proves America’s weakness toward believing anyone with a British accent is qualified for their job.   Now Morgan is the man who would be King, as in Larry King, as in being named as the new host of King’s 25-year-old CNN show.

This is not right.  If we have to take Piers Morgan, we should be making money on it — or at least, the British should have to take Perez Hilton in exchange.

Speaking of “America’s Got Talent,” there’s oh-so-much more to love about Piers’ London-born cohort Sharon Osbourne than him.  And yet, Ozzy’s purple-red-haired frau is nearing massive over-exposure with yet another gig, CBS’s yet-untitled daytime show for fall.  But let us not be irritated.  Let us be enriched.  Talent tariff, people!

There’s Australia’s Simon Baker, England’s Natascha McElhone and Ed Westwick, Scotland’s Kevin McKidd.  The list goes on and on.  Money, money, money.

And let’s not forget the growing South Asian/Indian contingent.  As “The Big Bang Theory’s” Kunal Nayyar declared to press at last week’s TCA panel in reference to himself, most of the cast of NBC’s new “Outsourced” and various other shows, “We are everywhere now…It doesn’t surprise me.  We are all really good-looking and talented, and I’m really happy that we continue to take over the world.”

Can you say, “Ka-ching”?!

Osbourne: Reports Wrong On Trouble With Simon

Sharon Osbourne

Sharon Osbourne

Reports all over the internet have Sharon Osbourne poised to thumb her nose at Simon Cowell by joining the U.K.’s “Strictly Come Dancing” – in direct competition to Cowell’s “X Factor” show that she left last year.  Sharon wants us to know, “That’s so wrong.

“I work for Simon on ‘America’s Got Talent,'” she points out.  “He’s a great guy and we have a great relationship.”  She notes that she didn’t take on the other show last year when asked.  Now she might.  But she says stories that have her getting back at Cowell over her “X Factor” departure amount to “the British press trying to get something out of nothing.  There’s nothing to get back for.”

 The fiery personality has already returned to her post as an “America’s Got Talent” judge.  That show, produced by Cowell, returns to NBC’s lineup June 23.  As far as “Strictly Come Dancing,” she’s just about to decide.  “I will say I’ll do what I want when I want it,” she says.  “I can’t be bought.”

 Also, she makes the point that “Strictly Come Dancing” – the British counterpart of “Dancing With the Stars” – would be good for her in terms of staying in shape and serving as an example of a fiftysomething something cancer survivor with gusto.

 MEANWHILE:  Sharon, whose grueling – but successful – 2002 battle with colon cancer was chronicled on MTV’s “The Osbournes,” has just become a celebrity ambassador for Stand Up to Cancer.  That’s the organization behind last year’s groundbreaking multi-network, star-laden fund-raising event geared toward accelerating cancer research.  “I’m just so happy to be a part of something that can bring such awareness to people,” she says.   This week, the SU2C initiative announced five research “Dream Teams” selected to receive $73.6 million, collectively, in three-year grants.

She tells us that as far as cancer care, “I have so many issues with it.  In this country a lot of it is about insurance.  They try and run it by the numbers, but you can’t because cancer doesn’t have a restriction on age.”  Some insurers, she notes, “say you have to be 50 to be covered for a colonoscopy.  Well, that didn’t help a girl of 18 I knew who had colon cancer.”  Adds Sharon, “You have to get these medical research teams to work together.  It’s not about seeing who is the most clever.  It should be a group effort, with each country sharing their scientific finds.”

SPELLING TROUBLE: Tori Spelling’s mom Candy may be continuing their public feud by going on the radio and blaming husband Aaron’s demise on their estranged daughter, but the young star makes it clear she’s focused on her career at the moment.  Having made a guest appearance this season on the CW’s “90210” and she tells us stepping back into Donna Martin’s shoes was something she enjoyed more than she expected – and wouldn’t mind doing again.  “It was great, but it was scary at first.  I was nervous coming onto someone else’s set, even though oddly it was my set originally,” she notes of being a part of the original show.  “It was pretty cool to be like, ‘Oh my God, I’m Donna again!’  When certain chapters of your life end, you feel like that’s it and then you move on.  I don’t think it ever occurred to me that I would be going back to play Donna and certainly not having the life that I have now.” 

 The mother of two certainly has plenty of other things to keep her busy.  “I have the Tori Spelling Collection jewelry line.  I have my children’s clothing line coming out this fall, which I’m really excited about, called Little Maven.  My second book ‘Mommywood’ is out right now,” says Spelling, who is also currently starring in the fourth season of her Oxygen reality show “Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.”  “We’ve actually extended our brand with Oxygen more.  We have a pilot we’re doing with them and we have a movie of the week we’re going to do together.  Then we’re going to turn my book ‘Mommywood’ into a web series.”  And after that?  World domination!

 KING FOR TROUBLE:  With Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson and Paul Rudd lined up for his next big-screen romp, filmmaker Garry Marshall is now choosing among candidates to play Madison, described as a 10-year-old girl with a mean streak who determines that Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to take revenge on her enemies.  The yet-untitled flick starts shooting next month.

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster