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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:
Steve Jones, Nicole Sherzinger, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and L.A. Reid
The anticipation finally is over. On Wednesday, Fox's The X Factor debuted, reuniting American Idol judges Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. Was the competition show as exciting as you expected? Or is it just another singing reality series?
Vote: Which fall premieres won you over? Which flopped?
Patricia Heaton, Neil Flynn
Continuing with a weeklong look at how the new season is shaping up, night by night, with thoughts on the pilots and selected season premieres, among other goodies.
Wednesday in a Nutshell: Hey, Fox, save something for everyone else. That's the inescapable feeling as a new juggernaut looms in The X Factor, which many expect to approach American Idol levels, at least initially, if only because of the thunderous Simon Cowell-Paula Abdul reunion hype. This will not be good news for its ...
L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul judging thousands of aspiring singers, some of whom will make your ears bleed? Sounds like American Idol redux. At first glance, there isn't a ton separating Cowell's new music competition show, The X Factor, from its predecessors — until you stack up the details. Then Cowell's master plan for music show domination becomes all too clear.
My God, It's huge! And 9 other things we learned at the premiere of The X Factor
In advance of Wednesday's premiere (8/7c on Fox), Cowell and the other X Factor judges help explain the five biggest ways in which their show will crush the competition.
5. He'll throw more money at the screen: How best to top...
The Sing-Off, Sara Bareilles
Before she sold a million records, before she had a No. 1 song and before she was nominated for three Grammy awards, Sara Bareilles was kind of a nerd, and she's not afraid to admit it.
"We would choreograph dances at parties instead of doing keg stands. We were all so nerdy together," she tells TVGuide.com of her college years spent in the UCLA a cappella group Awaken A Cappella.
"My experience in an a cappella group totally shaped me at a really impressionable time in my life as a performer. It gave me a lot of my confidence on stage, because I was someone who was really insecure and felt a little lost in college."
Fall Preview: Get scoop on your favorite returning shows
Fans first got a taste of Bareilles' a cappella chops on the Season 2 finale of The Sing-Off when she performed her hit record, "King of Anything" with The Backbeats, but now her expertise will really be put to the test as she takes a spot on the judges panel this season. The singer-songwriter replaces...