As 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.