Fox finally confirms Britney Spears and Demi Lovato joining the X Factor in presentation to advertisers
In the first few minutes of a phone call with journalists Monday morning, Fox executives refused to address widespread reports that pop stars Demi Lovato and Britney Spears were joining Simon Cowell’s The X Factor as judges.
No matter: hours later, the two pop stars stepped onstage with X Factor creator and star Simon Cowell and fellow judge Antonio “L.A.” Reid during a Fox presentation to advertisers in New York, revealing one of the worst-kept secrets in TV this week. (Spears tweeted the picture at above right on her account just before they stepped onstage)
“I am totally stoked to be here,” Lovato said, displaying how much younger she is than fired female judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger. Cowell, accused of overselling X Factor in the past, still promised to “kick butt” this season.
After all, it’s the upfronts; where TV networks start selling ads for new shows in the fall. Overpromising is practically a job requirement.
As a fine connoisseur of network executive BS, I was even a bit entertained by Fox entertainment chairman Peter Rice's insistence that a) there's no dissonance between touting X Factor as a success and replacing three of its five stars and b) they're absolutely thrilled that NBC is airing The Voice in the fall, ensuring that viewers have two singing competitions to choose from.
"There's going to be big spotlight on the The X Factor vs The Voice," Rice said. "It's going to be a showdown in the fall and that's lots of fun for everybody."
Unless, of course, the preponderance of singing shows burns people out on the genre faster.
The biggest news of the call, then, fell to confirmation of rumors that Glee would move to Thursdays behind X Factor, a sign, perhaps, of its struggles this season. Stars Kate Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker were announces as multi-episode guest stars and executives confirmed the series would feature a "show-within-a-show," following some students to college in New york and staying with others at the high school.
Former Office star Mindy Kaling wins the "luckiest girl in Hollywood" title which went to Whitney Cummings last year (although, considering that her lame sitcom Whitney got picked up for a second season at NBC, Cummings has a new talk show on E! and she co-executive produces CBS' 2 Broke Girls, maybe she should retain the title).
That's because Kaling scored the coveted "lead-out" timeslot behind Fox's Tuesday comedy hit the New Girl with her new comedy The Mindy Project.
Less certain is the decision to lead Fox's new two-hour comedy block on Tuesdays with Raising Hope, a great comedy which has always been weaker in the ratings than it should be. Can it really kick off a night (the move reminds me of how ABC put The Middle at 8 p.m.. Wednesdays before hit Modern Family)?
Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly touted their new drama with Kevin Bacon as both the casting coup of the year and "our new 24"; as The Following traces an ex-FBI agent (Bacon), called out of retirement to catch a serial killer.
FOX 2012-2013 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE (All Times ET/PT)
8:00-9:00 PM - BONES
9:00-10:00 PM - THE MOB DOCTOR (new)
THE FOLLOWING (new) joins in midseason.
8:00-8:30 PM - RAISING HOPE
8:30-9:00 PM - BEN AND KATE (new)
9:00-9:30 PM - NEW GIRL
9:30-10:00 PM - THE MINDY PROJECT (new)
THE GOODWIN GAMES (new) joins in midseason.
8:00-10:00 PM - THE X FACTOR (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL (midseason)
8:00-9:00 PM - THE X FACTOR Results (fall) / AMERICAN IDOL Results (midseason)
9:00-10:00 PM - GLEE
8:00-9:00 PM - TOUCH
9:00-10:00 PM - FRINGE (fall)
HELL’S KITCHEN returns in midseason.
7:00-10:30 PM - FOX SPORTS SATURDAY (fall)
COPS returns in midseason.
ANIMATION DOMINATION HIGH-DEF (new) will join late-prime in 2013.
7:00-7:30 PM - NFL Game (fall) / ANIMATION DOMINATION (encores)
7:30-8:00 PM - THE OT (fall) / THE CLEVELAND SHOW
8:00-8:30 PM - THE SIMPSONS
8:30-9:00 PM - BOB’S BURGERS
9:00-9:30 PM - FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM - AMERICAN DAD