“The X Factor” executive producer Simon Cowell says he’s ready to go to “war” with rival talent show “The Voice” if the U.S. version of “The Voice” (which is on NBC) ends up airing in the autumn in the same time slots as Fox’s “The X Factor” U.S.
“The X Factor” U.S. is televised Wednesdays and Thursdays on Fox in September through December.
There are rumors that “The Voice” U.S. might air two seasons in a year: one season in the spring and one season in the fall. “The Voice” U.S. currently airs one season per year, from February to May.
Cowell also says that there is already a “massive punch-up” in U.S. TV between “The X Factor,” “American Idol” (which also airs on Fox) and “The Voice.” He made the remarks in an interview with “Extra” that was televised on February 8, 2012.
“The Voice” launched its second season on February 5, 2012 (after the Super Bowl), which helped the show get more than 37.6 million U.S. viewers for the Season 2 premiere, which is a far higher ratingd number than what “American Idol” has been able to get so far this year. The second episode of Season 2 “The Voice” U.S. that aired on February 6, 2012, had 17.84 million U.S. viewers, which is very close to the per-episode viewership that “American Idol” has been getting so far in 2012.
The first season of “The X Factor” U.S. in 2011 averaged 12 million U.S. viewers per episode.
Cowell also commented on the judges of “The Voice” U.S. (Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green and Blake Shelton): “I would ask how many records have they made, how many artists have they discovered? That’s where we have to be different on the judging panel. It’s very important that you have people on the panel that have actually signed and made artists successful all over the world, not just have made hit records yourself.”
It’s no secret that Cowell is feeling particularly competitive with “The Voice,” since the U.K. version of “The Voice” has been scheduled to launch on BBC in March 2012 in the same time slots against ITV’s “Britain’s Got Talent,” a show that is executive produced by Cowell.
In the “Extra” interview, Cowell pointed out that “The Voice” copied “The X Factor” concept of having the judges compete against each other as mentors to the contestants. (Cowell first launched “The X Factor” in the U.K. in 2004. “The Voice” originated in Holland in 2010.)
Cowell had this to say about the possibility that the American versions of “The X Factor” and “The Voice” might go head-to-to head in the same time slots in the autumn of 2012: “I really am up for that. If I’m right, I’m going to have to rethink things even more than a couple of weeks ago, because now it’s a war. Suddenly, it’s a massive punch-up between all these competition shows. And I kind of feel like the underdog, so I like it.”
As previously reported, Cowell commented to “Extra” about the January 2012 “X Factor” U.S. shakeup that resulted in the firings of host Steve Jones and judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. Cowell said that Mariah Carey and Beyoncé will not be “X Factor” judges, but that he is interested in possibly having Katy Perry as a judge on the show.
Cowell revealed his strategy in revamping the show: “You have to be unpredictable, and you’ve got to find stars. That’s what it’s all about.”
And in the ongoing feud of Elton John versus Madonna, Cowell is clearly on Madonna’s side. He already told “Extra” that he would prefer to have Madonna instead of John as a judge on “The X Factor ” because John would be “really difficult” to work with on the show. (Madonna has told the media that she’s not available for “The X Factor.”)
In the “Extra” interview, Cowell took another shot at John by saying that John’s criticism of Madonna “sounds unnecessarily bitchy. And to be fair, Madonna is making better records than Elton John is right now.”
Cowell’s apparent dislike of John is not too surprising since John has been very critical of “The X Factor” and has publicly insulted the show multiple times.