The X Factor Gets X-Tended

The X Factor has not lived up to the ratings standards set by American Idol, nor has it come close to the more grandiose predictions made by its creator, Simon Cowell. Have you come across people spontaneously talking about this competition? Are your friends bitterly divided into Team Melanie and Team Drew? I didn’t think so.

But the show has accomplished a few important things in its debut season, most notably making Fox into a contender on Wednesday nights, where it has typically struggled in the fall whenever the World Series isn’t on. And so, despite the expense that goes along with having Cowell on the payroll, Fox has renewed The X Factor for a second season. The news comes as the show is about to enter the phase of the season where the public vote comes into play.

“It’s won every night it’s been on the air, the talent is phenomenal, the live shows are spectacular and picking it up is a complete no-brainer,” said Fox reality chief Mike Darnell in a statement. The X Factor exhibited a ratings bump last Tuesday for its first live show, despite the two and a half hour length, raising hopes at Fox that the show might keep gaining as the stakes get higher.

The X Factor has beaten all other network reality shows in the 18-49 ratings so far this fall. The unanswered question is whether the presence of the new show might impact the ratings for American Idol when it returns, just over two months from now.