'X Factor' To Get Makeover

The-X-FactorAs significant changes are coming to “The X Factor” this fall, a top executive involved in production suggested the show needs to be more distinctive from the other talent competition series.

“Our job for the next season is to really figure out what’s different about ‘X Factor,’” said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America.

Frot-Coutaz, who also serves as an executive producer, noted that the show gave Fox a much-needed surge in viewership in the fall, but fell short of star Simon Cowell’s expectations; it didn’t have enough uniqueness. It may have also been hurt by the emergence of NBC’s “The Voice” in the late spring and summer.

“There are too many of these shows … there’s definitely clutter,” she said at the NATPE event. She said she tells her team not to pitch her on another show with three judges evaluating talent. Fremantle is also behind NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and Fox’s “American Idol.” (“X Factor” has four judges.)



Frot-Coutaz said coming meetings will examine “X Factor” from top to bottom in consultation with Cowell and others -- from marketing to judges to scheduling around Fox’s World Series coverage.

FremantleMedia also owns game shows “Family Feud,” “The Price is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal.” Frot-Coutaz said the addition of Steve Harvey as the host of the syndicated version of “Family Feud” has been a boon, but these types of shows with older formats offer a challenge.

“It’s about keeping them fresh, keeping them relevant,” she said, adding that related Facebook games have helped. But Frot-Coutaz remains wary of launching new syndicated game shows from scratch, without either prime-time exposure or a legacy and new talent hosting.


2 comments about "'X Factor' To Get Makeover".
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  1. Philip Moore from Philip Moore, January 26, 2012 at 10:08 a.m.

    The magic of Idol is that they make the contestants the stars of the show, with enough backstory during the auditions phase to help the viewers find and fall in love with their favorites.

    The obvious superstar judges on Idol are edited to appear humble and familiar.

    The "X" Factor, on the other hand, tries to inflate the judges into the superstar status (presumably to compete with Idol), but instead they come off as egotistical and self-promoting. There is no time in the arc of the show devoted to the backstory with the exception of the contrived "reintroduction" of the "mistakenly eliminated" eventual winner. She was so obviously the best singer during early auditions that no one could possibly believe Cowell really let her go..

  2. Steve Helsing from Progressive Insurance, January 26, 2012 at 5:01 p.m.

    Maybe X Factor didn't perform as well as expected because: 1) Steve Jones, the host, is as wooden as they come; 2) the over-the-top announcer introducing the acts was irritating; and 3) the use of the "O Fortuna" music to make the show sound like an epic spectacle was ten years too late. I don't mind the judges as mentors. In fact, it should be brought out more just how much input they had. I say this because it was obvious Paula didn't have a clue about how to mentor the groups and even Cowell made horrible mis-steps in how to "sell" Rachel Crow to the viewing public.

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