Simon Cowell Confirms X Factor 4 Could Be Cut to One Night

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Simon Cowell is already planning changes for the 4th season of X Factor. Assuming there is going to BE a 4th season. The ratings have been under 2.0 in the last few weeks. But maybe FOX will figure the devil they know, is better than the devil they don’t.

I guess he figures 4 times the charm?

Simon dished about his future plans with Zap2it after the Top 6 results show.

“We have an idea in our heads,” he tells Zap2it and a small group of reporters backstage after “The X Factor” Top 6 results show. “We learned a lot about what we did wrong and what we did right. Things I think would make the show more exciting. But most importantly is we have to trust our A&R abilities, that this show can find better artists that anyone else. That’s the future of the show.”

Simon confirms that the show could switch to a one night format like Dancing with the Stars did this fall.

“I think that’s gonna be the pattern going forward,” he says. “That’s how we started in the U.K. — we started off making one-hour shows and 90-minute shows, and now you have two-hour shows and two-and-a-half hour shows and they’re like marathons. You know, I like two-hour shows. Everything’s contained.”

Via Zap2it

  • Jason Gorny

    I doubt XF USA will be back for another season.

  • Anny_nanny

    “We learned a lot about what we did wrong and what we did right.”

    I would just like to know what they did right. It was a long agony in three seasons, and now they want to resurrect the dead and kill again.

  • Peter Prach

    if the winner has instant success, they will be back.. unfortunately.

  • Amy Beth

    If it’s all about finding great talent, why not put the whole shebang on-line.

    XFactor viewers are definitely more into social media than the other competition show viewers.

  • Tinawina

    This show is likely to drop even more next year. I don’t understand why they would bring it back.

  • Siel

    Judging by his A&R comment, it looks like they’re going to continue getting a bunch of teenyboppers.

    They need the old, fedora-wearing, washed-up types from The Voice to get ratings.

  • tripp_ncwy

    Same repackaged comments he made after S1 & S2. So they are still learning.

  • alt28023

    I wonder how he’ll feel if it gets cut to no nights

  • Garrett Clayman

    unless the winner is Alex and Sierra they will not be an instant success

  • Garrett Clayman

    and it also takes away from Idol’s ratings

  • Landon Cox

    Because it at least gets a steady 5M or so viewers, which is more than most of FOX’s fall line-up gets.

  • Mike

    I would first get rid of the Over 25s category because let’s face it, it makes no sense for “The X Factor”, a show that’s supposed to be about finding the next Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, One Direction etc. to have older people on. This would bring you down to three judges and three categories. Replace all the judges with A&R/producers and be more about finding the talent and less drama crap. Also get rid of the live auditions, do real auditions on a stage with no audience like the glee project did. Keep the live show format pretty much the same.

  • elliegrll

    That’s not high praise. The zillion Gordon Ramsey shows that Fox airs tend to have much better demo numbers, and they are cheaper to produce.

    But, all of Fox’s problems could save the XF or some of the other shows with low ratings.

  • Mike

    Ya the ratings will still suck but they will suck regardless. If you actually find future big time stars the show will stay on. Might get moved to MTV or another cable network, but at least won’t get cancelled for good which would be embarrassing for Simon.

  • tomr

    Don’t try to push manufactured groups down our throats. Get rid of 3 of the judges (Keep Kelly). Stop with the overproduction, costumes, and terrible makeup. Eliminate the judges deciding the fates after top 10.

  • Holden17C

    The best option for Cowell right now is to admit that this show is a dud and walk away from it.

  • Tinawina

    I think the demo numbers are what matters, and this year they are barely scraping up 2s. Next year I can see it not getting out of the 1s at all. It takes up too much air time to give back ratings that low IMO, plus it hurts Idol (which is seemingly on its way out but still doing better than this). I just can’t see how keeping XF helps Fox.

  • Tinawina

    I agree this show belongs on MTV.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    But most importantly is we have to trust our A&R abilities, that this show can find better artists that anyone else.

    He can say this with a straight face when not one artist from the first two seasons of XFUSA has even reached 100,000 in album sales, nobody’s near a gold single, the best CHR chart positions achieved by any singles are in the mid-20s (E3, 5H, and Chris Rene all had singles peak around there), and several finalists have already lost their major-label contracts.

    Put any 50 unsigned acts in a room and let an A&R person choose his or her favorite four to throw money at. I can’t believe randomization would do worse commercially.

  • Landon Cox

    It wasn’t intended to be high praise, haha. Networks are pretty scared right now so they may opt for a “better the devil you know” than taking a risk on a new show, as MJ pointed out.

    The market is over saturated right now, with the Voice airing twice a year and Idol and XF on the same network. Also XF is a terrible fit for Fox with their baseball contracts; you have to have all these double eliminations just to fit in the schedule with that fall hiatus.

  • Montavilla

    Maybe it could work if they stopped trying to be so glitzy and really did focus on the A&R. If they really did that, it would make them very different from Idol or The Voice.

    Okay, here’s my new suggestions:

    1. Separate judges and mentors. I hate the conflict of interest and how it makes the whole thing The Simon Show.

    2. Hire people who are genuinely interested in A&R to be the coaches. (Sort of like we don’t have celebrity coaches on The Biggest Loser, we have actual fitness coaches who became celebrities through the show.)

    3. Instead of live auditions, send the coaches out into the field with camera men. Give them a bus, or make them drive their own cars. Create a story where the plucky A&R coach has to scour America to find people with the X-Factor.

    4. I don’t give a crap about categories. Let the coaches assemble X-many acts, whether that’s individuals, groups, whatever. Let them choose the people they believe in, and then have them take responsibility for that belief.

    5. Whether you show it or not, give the contestants some decent training and development before they start trying to earn votes. The problem with this year’s crop was they had no practice going into the show.

    6. If you are going to have teams, then give each team a different creative director, stylist, etc. Then show those people fighting it out to get their “team” the best arrangement, costumes, lighting, etc. Show us the sausage being made.

    7. If you have teams, work out a scoring system that favors the strong. For example, maybe the highest scoring team one week gets an extra X-amount of money in their production budget for the following week. Give the coaches real incentive to make all their contestants shine, every week.

  • b_james

    I was thinking how the first change would obviously be to get rid of Paulina. But then I realized I’ve been more entertained by her craziness these past few weeks than anything else all season.

  • elliegrll

    I don’t think that this is what Simon means. One of the problems that I’ve always had with the show is that it doesn’t seem like the contestants do anything that’s not dictated to them by Simon and the rest of the producers. It’s good that the show has a confidence coach, and people who help the contestants figure out how they should act on camera, but Simon has gone overboard with this “guidance”. For Simon A&R means molding the contestants into what he wants them to be for the tv show.

  • yaddabing

    Lol @ Simon acting like he’s glad they’re doing one less hour a week.

    That’s one less hour a week he gets to produce + sell internationally.

  • Nedsdag

    TBTH I would keep Paulina, broken English and all. If Sofia Vergara can be television’s highest paid actress with her over the top accent, then Paulina should stay on the show. Besides, she’s entertaining to say the least.

  • Larc

    And unless FOX is stupid (that’s probably open to debate), one less hour of show he’ll get paid for. That should reduce Simon’s check by about a third.

  • tomr

    Except that she makes Paula A. look like a rocket scientist.

  • yaddabing

    Eh, I doubt he gets paid much for his judging role these days.

    It’s probably a fraction compared to what he gets from Syco.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    For Simon A&R means molding the contestants into what he wants them to be for the tv show.

    If that’s what A&R means to Cowell, then he has no business doing A&R.

    The purpose of A&R is to fit out artists so that their music sells at levels that are gratifying for their genre and pleasing in relation to the cost involved. Opinions are going to differ on whether A&R should take a short-term (“cash in right now!”) view or a long-term (“develop the artist”) view.

    But there’s no POV from which it’s “good A&R” for finalists to release music that both performs poorly and is unrepresentative of the artist (see, e.g., Melanie Amaro). If both Amaro and Tate Stevens were hopeless for marketability from the git-go, that’s not “good A&R” on the part of the show, either. Your winners should be your most marketable acts, most of the time. (And it’s not like the 3rd and 4th place finishers do brilliantly. E3 and 5H are keeping their heads above water. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it doesn’t prove superior A&R to anything whatever.)

    If molding people for the show is truly his only goal, the ratings suggest he doesn’t choose his molds well, anyway.

  • elliegrll

    I don’t disagree with anything that you wrote, but my point is that Simon seems to be saying that he is developing television characters. His focus is not on what happens once the show is over. Cowell is concerned with developing characters that will lead to be tuning in every week. Of course the problem is that he’s failed to to that, and all of his machinations have just lead to people not caring about the contestants or the show.

  • crackinthewall

    1. This would be American Idol and about a dozen other singing competitions in the world. To be honest, that conflict of interest creates the drama in X Factor and it’s one of those things that differentiates it from every other singing competition. It’s different and I’d rather have something like it than have every other show have very removed judges. If the viewer is really invested in an act, they can either take an opposing mentor’s critique as constructive or you can view it as strategy. We’re just stuck with really lousy mentors with the US production.

    2. Isn’t that American Idol Season 1? Simon Cowell may be a big name in the industry but outside of Pop Idol and American Idol, do we know anyone who knew what he does at the time? Same with Randy Jackson. Paula was a has-been at the time. Kinda hard to do it now in the age of social media with relatively unknown people.

    3. The Voice kinda does that with Carson giving an invitation to have someone audition. What are they going to do? Watch Youtube or watch a live show and then visit the artist at home? That looks way more scripted than anything we’ve seen.

    4. That would be The Voice except they only have duos.

    5. That’s all behind the scenes and in almost every singing competition, we don’t really see the first audition until the final 24/KO/Judges homes are being filmed and sometimes, everyone has been chosen. By that time, they should have all had enough mentoring sessions. Sometimes we’re lucky when we get someone who’s completely green (like Carrie Underwood, Fifth Harmony, One Direction) or someone who’s been trying to make it for years (like Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry, Cassadee Pope).

    6. This would be a good idea especially with X Factor’s penchant for the theatrical and the absurd but I don’t see how they can do this without boring us all to death with a longer show. The details could be a companion show for everyone who’d want to watch it. It’s a big thing in some countries though I’m not sure it could work for the US market.

    7. I prefer this over #6 if only because this wouldn’t take much time from the already convoluted show and it’s easy to explain. It takes two minutes to announce who has a bigger budget the next week so that’s not a lot of time wasted.

  • Eilonwy_has_an_emu

    I think we’ve just agreed that Cowell has no effing clue about appealing to the U.S. audience on any front.

    *passes drinks*

  • Chessguy99

    Not even a A&S would be an instant success. .

  • crackinthewall

    Everyone’s onto social media these days. It’s a good thing Fox isn’t as hung up as NBC on “their content” so anyone with a computer can watch these people perform thereby giving them a platform outside America if a career inside fails. At the rate things are going, they should start finding ways to tap the global market.

  • ajr86

    I never heard such an awful version of Hallelujah. Jeff is trying too much. It’s supposed to be a subtle song.

  • Montavilla

    Thanks for the reply! To keep the dialogue going:

    1. TBH, I think the judge’s panel is a bit outmoded. Do we really need them to tell the audience what to think? Or maybe we could cut the panel to one. Let Simon be the sole arbiter of taste. And, while still giving the audience the vote, give him some wicked little powers that he can exercise to make us hate him. *maniacal laugh*

    2. Yes, it is American Idol Season One. American Idol Season One worked, after all.

    3. I don’t know how the coaches will discover new talent. I think it would be interesting to see how they do it.

    4. It is more like The Voice. Only without having to listen to the same four people pontificate afterwards.

    5. I don’t know that the training needs to be shown, but I think it helps giving the contestants time to get used to cameras in their faces, and the people they’re working with. It’s really been clear to me that this season of X-Factor is suffering from not holding the Boot Camp.

    6. I like the idea of a companion show. Not that I’d watch it right now. But, if you lose the 40 or so minutes devoted to judge’s comments every episode, there might be time for the BTS drama.

    7. There could be penalties, too. Like, make one team have to incorporate live chimpanzees into their act. :)

  • Matthew

    Simon says the same thing every year yet still doesn’t learn. Followed the disasterof Britney with a worse, yet cheaper PPauline. The top 12 were weak. Probably will be a s4 even if one show per week. With A&S, RR, JG, they may have a chance to finally have a breakout.

  • valeegirl

    I think X Factor should focus on what they do best, and what I think makes them most unique…. the groups! Start out with super cute kids who can sing and figure out who is going to be the “2nd Direction”.

    I consider myself a pretty loyal X Factor fan, but am mostly disappointed in this years Top 12 – with the exception of maybe Josh Levi and A&S, this years contestants don’t come close to the talent they had last year… It’s definitely on a downward slide

  • Jason Gorny

    What if they cut back on the categories and have just three categories/3 judges? They did that the first three years on the x-factor uk. There would just be the Overs, Groups, and 13-25s. The judges can be Kelly, Simon, and Demi. This would save more money too. Just a possible thought since it is possible that it will be on one night only. Save time too?

  • valeegirl

    I like idea of three teams but I would toss the over because I think there is too much competition in that category with The Voice… boys under 21 girls under 21 and groups would be my choice