Tonight, at long last, The X Factor's top three contenders come into view. That's right: one contestant blew us away like no one before on the show has, and then a second and third arrived, just as good. It almost made suffering through the two-hour audition episode worth it. Here comes the rundown:
Suburgatory scared up 9.81 million souls, according to preliminary Nielsen info.
The new ABC sitcom at 8:30/7:30c grabbed a 3.3 rating among 18-to-49-year-olds, marking a 27 percent improvement over last year's tenant of the time slot, Better With You. The comedy, starring Jane Levy and Jeremy Sisto, follows The Middle, which was down to 8.55 million from last week's 9.35 million. Similarly, most of Wednesday's ratings were lower than last week, though to varying degrees.
The X Factor
Two hours of more auditions, but I think I just heard the announcer say this is the last week of them? Praise be! I'd like nothing more than to get into the mentoring rounds, where contestants will be divvied up into young, old, solo and group categories and then handed over to the judges for molding. It will no doubt be Paula's time to shine.
But first, tonight's episode. Things kick off in Chicago...One more episode with Cheryl Cole in it? Yes, please!
First up are Brock and Makenna, a duo from Missouri who have been singing together for four years. "I love her, but she doesn't know it," he says. Before they sing, Simon asks, "Are you dating?" Sorry Brock, Makenna says no. They sing a more-than-decent
Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli
Dear Reality Shows,
Listen, we need to talk. It's about these two-hour episodes, the twice-a-week commitments, the extended eliminations, the reunions... all of it. Our DVRS are tired, and so are we. In other words, it's not us. It's you.
Used to be that TV shows were once a week, and two-hours long only if they were, like, special episodes or season premieres. Now, it seems that every ...
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Question: Last year the TV season came and went without a breakout hit, and with more cancellations than usual. I'm interested in the strategy that the networks seem to be going for this year to make up for the extremely lackluster last season, especially over at Fox. I don't know exactly what Fox's expectations for The X Factor were, but I'm guessing that they're somewhat disappointed today. 12.5 million seems a bit of an underperformance, especially given that Two and a Half Men had double that many viewers. I was really surprised that New Girl (which I found absolutely delightful) not only matched Glee's numbers, but in fact did significantly better. Given that New Girl had been available online for several weeks prior, I'm surprised that so many people tuned in. This is perhaps a bit reminiscent of Fox's bold move in previewing the pilot of Glee in the spring after Idol, which paid off ...
Amy Poehler and Adam Scott
Hey, network TV, turns out we kind of missed you over the long, reality-clogged summer. You showed back up, so we did, too. Some bleary-eyed musing to follow.
Starting with the Shocker of the Week, by which I mean the solid but hardly spectacular early numbers for Fox's mega-hyped The X Factor, opening to about half the business American Idol typically commands. I consider this a punishment for Simon Cowell's ghastly America's Got Talent, which this year rewarded yet another soon-to-be-forgotten singer. Blech. To be fair, by any other standards, X is an instant success, and puts Fox into a competitive position on two historically tough nights. But no matter Fox's spin...
The X Factor
The X Factor's debut might not have been Idol-like, but the show's Thursday night airing held steady, leading Fox to win the night.
Fall Preview: Get scoop on your favorite returning shows
Simon Cowell's latest singing competition was virtually flat versus the previous night, averaging 12.1 million viewers over its two hours and dipping only slightly in the adults-18-to-49 demo.
Meanwhile, many freshman network dramas debuted modestly...
Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion
Our top moments of the week:
14. Best Blast from the Past: Six years after attempting to cheat on her on How I Met Your Mother, Ted gets the shock of his life when he spots Miss Buttercup herself, Victoria (Ashley Williams), catering the Architects Ball. We know canonically that Victoria's not the mother, but she was among our favorites of Ted's girlfriends (and he's had a lot), so it's nice to see her again, even if her only purpose is to restore the jaded romantic's faith in romance.
13. Best First Dance: Who knew moves like Jagger involves rooster chest-puffing and...
And now, the main event. At least that's how Thursdays used to feel in past seasons. But according to the early returns in this new season's ratings race, Mondays and Tuesdays have their share of powerhouse shows as well, including the revamped Two and a Half Men and the delightful New Girl. Here's a quick overview of Thursday's programming strategies, with thoughts on tonight's pilots and some of the more notable returns.
Thursday in a Nutshell: Fox has officially planted its flag on this night ...
Over the past year, you've heard plenty of hype from Simon Cowell about his new singing competition, The X Factor: It's huge! Auditions are held in packed arenas! It's got really young and really old contestants! Groups are allowed! New judge Nicole Scherzinger will out-cry and out-crazy Paula Abdul! L.A. Reid will finally give Simon a worthy opponent! And did he mention it's huge? For all these reasons, we should probably brace ourselves for it to blow American Idol and The Voice right out of prime time's talent show-infested waters, right?
5 ways Simon Cowell plans to crush Idol with The X Factor: Mo' money, crazy Nicole ...
Well, now that you've tuned in to Wednesday's premiere to see the goods firsthand, let's discuss. We want to hear your opinions on the night's standouts, good and bad, starting with: