During a break at today’s Television Critics Association Winter 2011 Session, FOX Networks Group Chairman of Entertainment Peter Rice had only good things to say about Cheryl Cole, the British singer and X Factor UK judge said to be on the short list for the US version:
“If Cheryl was to be on the show, I think she’s proved that she’s a terrific judge, She has wonderful chemistry with Simon,” he said.
Rice told the group he’s been having regular discussions with Cowell as the months inch closer to the “X Factor” start date, and he said the judge is still working on putting together the right group for the show’s fall launch in America.
“There’s great speculation. I think Simon is still meeting and trying to find the right mixture of men and women to be on the panel,” Rice said. “It’ll be four judges as it is in England — it’s two men, two women… one of which will be Simon.”
However, Simon won’t have full control over the make-up of the panel. Rice said FOX will have “traditional network approvals” over the panel Cowell brings to them, which Rice confirmed will be announced before the Summer TCAs.
Rumors have been rampant about who will make up the X Factor US panel. Gossip that actor and singer Will Smith signed on was debunked by Simon himself, “I would love to work with Will, Simon tells Extra TV, “but I don’t know where this story has come from, because we have never even spoken.”
“I think it’s an amazing TV show. They’re in their seventh year, I think, in the UK and it was its biggest year ever. It took over the country,” Rice said. “It’s just so well produced, so fun, so wildly entertaining… I think if they discover the next Susan Boyle next year on ‘X Factor’ — that’s not something that will happen on ‘Idol.’ If they discover, Stevie Wonder or Michael Jackson or some 10-year-old phenomenon, that’s not something you’re gonna see on ‘Idol.’