RETRACTION: The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!

Yesterday we reported that Cheryl Cole had been replaced by the Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger as a judge on FOX’s upcoming singing competition show, The X Factor. Everything in the piece itself was accurate however our headline, “The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!,” was not.  Simon Cowell had nothing to do with Cole’s departure and did not suggest that her accent was too thick for American audiences and in fact it’s been reported that he fought desperately to save her.

The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources who claim that the decision was a decision by the network itself and the accent issue was theirs alone.  Prior reports implied that it was show producers that had the issue with her accent and were responsible for the decision to replace her.  Since Simon Cowell is the main producer of this show, we assumed that these were his sentiments and that this was his decision.  This obviously was a mistake.

We have also issued the retraction made the correction on the original piece.

ALERT! The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says FOX Execs: ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!

We reported two weeks ago that Paula Abdul had signed on as a judge alongside her former American Idol co-judge, Simon Cowell on his highly anticipated singing competition show, The X Factor, along with Cheryl Cole and L.A. Reid.  TMZ is reporting that Cheryl Cole, who was a judge on the U.K. version of the show, has been replaced by the Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger citing concerns over American audiences having difficulty understanding her because of her thick British accent and a lack of chemistry with Abdul.  Producers now want Cole to return to the U.K. version of the show but sources say that she is so angry about how the situation was handled that she may sever ties with the franchise entirely. We doubt it.  We wouldn’t even know who she was if not for this so she needs all of the exposure she can get.

We look at this two ways: first how bad could her accent possibly be?  If American audiences can sit through Ewan MacGregor’s Scottish brogue in Trainspotting:

… then we can certainly handle this:

Now of course, the best part of the clip above is that if you listen closely, she pauses in the middle of that to squeak out a little fart.  G’head… go back and play it again, we’ll wait.

See, we told you.

Now aside from the obvious issues of farting on the air and how that probably isn’t something that will be embraced by American audiences (except us), the ultimate irony here is that Simon Cowell is concerned that American audiences aren’t going to be able to understand My-Fair-Lady/the-rain-in-Spain-falls-mainly-on-the-plain up there but he doesn’t have any concerns about two or three nights per week of this in primetime:

Steve Jones: Limey Stud

Obviously, though, if the other issue was chemistry with Abdul, it was simply a no-brainer that Cole would be the expendable judge.  Scherzinger was originally cast to co-host the show with Steve Jones but now with the move, he’ll be doing it alone.  Don’t feel bad folks, we don’t know who he is either however, apparently he’s quite popular in the U.K. and in order to get this gig he had to initially promise not to nail his fellow co-stars and no, we aren’t kidding. Just for that alone he gets our endorsement.  But seriously, how hard can it be? Seacrest has been doing it for a decade and he hosts a daily radio show and that dopey show on E!

EDITOR’S NOTE – RETRACTION:  Our headline, “The X Factor: Cheryl Cole OUT! Simon Cowell Says ‘Too British Sounding.’ Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger IN!,” was not correct.  Cowell had nothing to do with Cole’s departure and did not suggest that her accent was too thick for American audiences and in fact it’s been reported that he fought desperately to save her.

The Hollywood Reporter is citing sources who claim that the decision was a decision by the network itself and the accent issue was theirs alone.  Prior reports implied that it was show producers that had the issue with her accent and were responsible for the decision to replace her.  Cowell is the main producer of this show, we assumed that these were his sentiments and that this was his decision.  This obviously was a mistake.

See the full retraction, here

TV NEWS! DONE DEAL: Paula Abdul To Join Simon Cowell This Fall On The X-Factor, FOX’s Highly Anticipated New Talent Show

If you’re anything like us, you freely admit that the only reason you turned into American Idol for as long as you did was because of Simon Cowell and it wasn’t just for how brutal he was to the first round contestants.  Despite Cowell’s dry and sometimes cruel wit, he was generally the only one on that panel who could relay any particular insight to the audience regarding the music industry itself and at the end of the day you had more faith in his opinion than anyone else on the judge’s panel.  This is not take anything away from the other judges and guest judges that have graced AI over the years, but Cowell truly brought a sense of balance to the Force and if you’ve watched recently, even if you are still a fan, you can’t help but to admit that it’s become kind of a disjointed mess since his departure.  Honestly, does anyone take Steven Tyler seriously at all?

Now if you’re still being honest, even if you hate to admit it, Paula Abdul certainly had her place on that panel and even when she left it was like we lost a part of the family. Between her obnoxious over-the-top praising, soft-peddling, sometimes inebriated commentary and the banter between her and Cowell, it made for good television.  So when we heard a couple of months ago from the T-Shirt himself that he would love to get Paula back on his new talent show, The X-Factor, and that he was actively courting her, we were excited about the prospect of two-thirds of the old team getting back together albeit skeptical at the possibility because, let’s be honest, how often do these situations pan out?  But then again… this is Simon “King Midas” Cowell we’re talking about, as well.

So without further adieu it gives us great pleasure to announce that Paula Abdul has indeed signed on as a judge on TXF along with Cowell, Cheryl Cole, and Antonio “L.A.” Reid.  This is not only going to be great fun for fans but this is very good for FOX broadcasting as it will increase the advertising value of this show even more than we already had expected.

Why should we care about that?  It’s simple: the more money TXF makes, the more money FOX has to justify keeping lower rated, critically acclaimed scripted programming and it also acts as great lead-ins for the scripted shows as well, putting more eyes on them. You like your shows like Lie To Me, Human Target, Breaking In and The Chicago Code? Then, even if you don’t have any interest in reality show talent competitions you need to be rooting for TXF to make as much money as possible.

Why We Love Paula:

FOX for some reason has decided to one-up ABC in the ridiculously long press release department so feel free to quit after the first paragraph below.

Via Press Release:

GRAMMY AND EMMY AWARD WINNER PAULA ABDUL

JOINS CHERYL COLE, ANTONIO “L.A.” REID AND SIMON COWELL

ON “The X Factor” JUDGES PANEL

Auditions Continue in Dallas on Thursday, May 26

Singers and Vocal Groups Age 12 and Over Eligible to Audition

For Chance to Win a $5 Million Syco/Sony Music Recording Contract

America’s sweetheart, world-renowned choreographer and pop icon Paula Abdul will join Cheryl Cole, Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Simon Cowell as a judge on The X Factor, the highly anticipated singing competition series debuting this fall on FOX. Abdul, who sat alongside Cowell for eight seasons as a judge on American Idol, has worldwide album sales exceeding 50 million records, two No. 1 albums, six No. 1 singles, a Grammy Award, seven MTV Awards, two Emmy Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards. Abdul will join Cole, Cowell, and Reid as they travel to The X Factor audition cities searching for the next global superstar or breakout music group.

“This show would never have been the same without Paula and I can’t believe I am saying this – I have missed her a lot, and I am thrilled she’s on the show,” said Simon Cowell.

“I am excited beyond words to be a part of The X Factor.  I couldn’t be happier to bring my love for cultivating talent and performance to such a wildly anticipated show,” said Paula Abdul.   “I’m looking forward to being back with the FOX/FremantleMedia family and know that it will be an extraordinary journey — we’re going to have a blast.  I’m also delighted and grateful to be sitting next to Simon again…but you might want to check back with me in a week or two!”

“Paula is not only the lovely, nurturing person that America fell in love with, but she’s also one of the  fiercest competitors I’ve ever seen — which makes her a perfect fit to judge The X Factor,” said Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. “Paula and Simon have undeniable chemistry, and together with L.A. Reid and Cheryl Cole, I think we’ve put together an incredibly entertaining judges’ panel.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with Paula again,” says executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. “A consummate entertainer in her own right, she has an extraordinary talent and generosity for nurturing performers — and her chemistry with Simon Cowell is like no other. I especially look forward to seeing her signature sensibilities in action during our mentoring rounds!”

Auditions continue in Dallas, TX, on Thursday, May 26.

The X Factor is searching for undiscovered talent 12 years old or over – both solo artists and vocal groups – who are willing to brave the panel for a chance to win a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.  Interested solo artists and vocal groups should sign up now for audition information at www.fox.com/theXfactor or call toll-free 855-345-5678.

In a departure from other singing competition series, the first time contestants audition for The X Factor judges, they will do so in front of an audience of thousands – raising the stakes and increasing the pressure to impress not only the judges, but also a potential legion of fans. This will be the ultimate test to prove they have the vocal ability, charisma and stage presence that it takes to win an unprecedented $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

As previously announced, Pepsi will serve as an official sponsor of The X Factor. The comprehensive sponsorship includes an extensive, multi-platform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and an immersive content experience online.

The X Factor is produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Simon Cowell, Rob Wade and Siobhan Greene are executive producers for Syco Television. Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Richard Holloway and Andrew Llinares serve as executive producers for FremantleMedia North America.

About Paula Abdul

Paula Abdul is one of the most-recognized pop singers and choreographers in film, television, video, stage and live tours. Her celebrated work in choreography includes Emmy-winning contributions to “The Tracey Ullman Show” and Emmy-nominated choreography for the Academy Awards, as well as Abdul’s own performance on “The American Music Awards.” Other triumphs include her award-winning work with Janet Jackson, which garnered two MTV Video Awards; and working with such music legends as Aretha Franklin, George Michael, Luther Vandross, INXS, Heart and Prince. Abdul’s favorite memory is dancing alongside her idol, Gene Kelly, in a celebrated and acclaimed commercial campaign. Abdul’s choreography contributions in feature films include the Academy Award-winning “American Beauty,” working with Cuba Gooding Jr. on his Academy Award-winning performance in “Jerry Maguire” and transforming Val Kilmer into Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s “The Doors.” Abdul’s music career encompasses worldwide album sales exceeding 50 million records, two No. 1 albums, six No. 1 singles, a Grammy Award, seven MTV Awards, two Emmy Awards, two People’s Choice Awards and two Kids’ Choice Awards. She has also been honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Hall of Fame. Abdul served as a judge alongside Simon Cowell for eight seasons on the hit series American Idol. An acclaimed jewelry designer, Abdul introduced her Paula Abdul Jewelry Collection on QVC to record-breaking sales. The collection consists of charms, pendants, earrings and bracelets in a mix of textures and metals, adorned with meaningful phrases. Abdul, who got her first break as a Los Angeles Laker Girl, continues to honor her roots by running dance and cheerleading camps, competitions and scholarship programs throughout the country.

About “The X Factor”

Since its debut in 2004, “The X Factor” has remained the U.K.’s #1 program for the last seven years, peaking with an audience of 21 million with 65% audience share for its 2010 finale. The format swiftly broke similar records around the world, where local versions have consistently rated #1 in 15 territories, with a worldwide audience now well over 100 million. In Denmark, it has ranked #1 for the last four years, peaking with an 80% share of the audience. In Colombia, it has consistently ranked #1 with a 75% share of the audience. Additionally, “The X Factor” consistently delivers a 50% to 65% share of the viewing audiences in Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, France and Italy – with the highest percentage of these shares in A15-34. In some markets, “The X Factor” has increased the channel average demographic by up to 250%. The series has received numerous honors worldwide, including three BAFTA awards, numerous NTA awards and the coveted Rose d’Or. In the U.K., an unprecedented 1.5 million iTunes downloads were made from “The X Factor” contestant performances in 2010. Globally, more than 100 million records have been sold by artists launched through the series, including over 90 #1 singles and albums and 150 Top Ten records.

About Sony Music Entertainment

Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a current roster that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including American Recordings, Arista Nashville, Arista Records, Battery Records, Beach Street Records, BNA Records, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Day 1, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, MASTERWORKS, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA Nashville, RCA Red Seal, RCA Victor, Reunion Records, Roc Nation, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Verity Gospel Music Group, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

About Syco/Simon Cowell

Syco, with offices in London and Los Angeles, is a global music, television and film production joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment. Syco Television owns and produces the BAFTA Award-winning “The X Factor,” which has topped the charts around the world. Syco Television is also the owner of the “Got Talent” television format. Versions of both “The X Factor” and “Got Talent” are co-produced by Syco, and are shown in more than 70 countries and have won multiple awards including national television awards and BAFTAs. The X Factor launches in America on FOX in Fall 2011 with Cowell as a judge. Syco is also the record label home for such diverse international recording stars as Leona Lewis and Il Divo. Cowell has worked with artists selling more than 200 million albums and delivering more than 180 No. 1 records. Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 launched the global singing career of Susan Boyle. Her debut Syco album sold over 8 million units in six weeks, making it the world’s biggest-selling album of 2009 and the fastest-selling album in history and a total of 20 million records to date. In 2009, Cowell was named No. 1 in Hollywood Reporter’s Top 50 Most Powerful in Reality TV and Entertainment Weekly’s Top Entertainer of the Year. In 2010 Simon Cowell was awarded Variety International’s Humanitarian Award for his extensive charitable work, The Rose d’Or Golden Jubilee Award and BAFTA’s Special Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry and development of new talent. He also appeared on Time Magazine’s list of Most Influential People in the World and was awarded the International Emmy Founders Award.

About FremantleMedia North America

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is the U.S. production division of global media giant FremantleMedia. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA produces entertaining and innovative programs for network, cable, syndicated and online platforms, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon American Idol (FOX), “America’s Got Talent” (NBC), “What Chilli Wants” (VH1), “Hole In The Wall” (Cartoon Network), “Jump City: Seattle” (G4), “Let’s Make A Deal” (CBS), “Family Feud” (syn), “The Price Is Right” (CBS) and the much-anticipated The X Factor in Fall 2011.

DAYTIME ALERT! ABC Cancels All My Children & One Life To Live After 42 And 44 Years Respectively

On Thursday, April 14th, ABC announced that they would be canceling their mid-afternoon, long-running soap opera mainstays in favor of two “lifestyle” shows ending a run that has lasted for a combined 86 years of programming.  Now normally, this isn’t really our cup of tea to discuss but this a momentous occasion in television history to say the least, considering just how long these shows have been on and how popular they have been over the last four, going into five, decades. Of course, there’s also the nostalgia factor of these being Mom’s favorites going all the way back to when we were toddlers and we can remember her looking forward to them at 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m, respectively.  Don’t bug Mommy… her “stories” are on.

"Hi, everyone! I just wanted to let you know that we think youre all doing a bang-up job. Just a heads up though: were announcing that you are all fu*king fired in twenty minutes. Take care... oh, and if you happen to have any studio property, please leave it in the designated box at the security desk when you leave today. Thanks and again: Awesome job, everyone!"

EW is reporting that the actors were told of the decision less than 20 minutes before the press release was issued, with the cast of All My Children being informed in person in Los Angeles, while the cast of One Life to Live was told via remote video conferencing… like in that George Clooney movie, Up in the Air.  Well, we guess the glass-is-half-full approach would be to say that it could have been worse… they could have found out 20 minutes  after the press release was issued.   All My Children will air its final episode in September 2011 and One Life to Live will air its final episode in January 2012.

These schedule changes will not affect General Hospital, the second most popular daytime drama on television.

On the upside, at least Susan Lucci  and her fans will (hopefully) finally stop griping about winning only one Daytime Emmy award in the last 42 years.

Via the Longest Press Release in Television History:

ABC EVOLVES THE FACE OF DAYTIME TELEVISION WITH THE LAUNCH OF TWO NEW SHOWS, “THE CHEW” AND “THE REVOLUTION”

Iconic Shows “All My Children” and “One Life To Live” Will Broadcast

Their Final Episodes in September 2011 and January 2012, Respectively;

Series Will Sunset in a Manner That Honors Viewers and the Shows’ Creative Legacies

Guided by extensive research into what today’s daytime viewers want and the changing viewing patterns of the audience, ABC is evolving the face of daytime television with the launch of two new shows, “The Chew,” which will premiere in September 2011, and “The Revolution” (working title), which will premiere in January 2012. These new shows expand ABC Daytime’s focus to include more programming that is informative and authentic and centers on transformation, food and lifestyle — cornerstones of programming that resonates with daytime viewers as evidenced by the success of “The View.”

As food has become the center of everyone’s life, “The Chew” will focus on food from EVERY angle — as a source of joy, health, family ritual, friendship, breaking news, dating, fitness, weight loss, travel adventures and life’s moments. Produced by Gordon Elliot, the Emmy Award-winning executive producer of “Paula Deen’s Home Cooking” and “Down Home with the Neelys,” this new one-hour series combines entertaining takeaway with memorable personalities to create a live show where viewers get the dish on anything and everything related to the world of food and beyond. Whether it’s new trends like food trucks and urban gardens or how pesticides in our food may affect our health, we can’t stop talking about it. The hosts who will guide the hour include Mario Batali (Restaurateur, Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and author); entertaining expert Clinton Kelly (TLC’s “What Not to Wear”); Carla Hall (Bravo’s “Top Chef”); Michael Symon (Restaurateur and Food Network’s “Iron Chef America”), and nutrition expert Daphne Oz, who simplifies often confusing information about food.

From Executive Producer JD Roth and 3 Ball Productions, producers of “The Biggest Loser,” “Masterchef” and ABC’s upcoming “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition,” comes “The Revolution,” a Daily Show about health and lifestyle transformations. The show is hosted by a team of experts and rotating guest contributors who help viewers transform all areas of their lives, from relationships to family, food, style, home design, finance and more. This dream team, led by fashion expert Tim Gunn, also includes celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and American Idol alum Kimberley Locke. The show features a unique concept: each week one woman’s five-month weight loss journey will unfold in just five days, with daily results and a final transformational reveal on Friday. “The Revolution” is a one-stop shop for better living.

“While we are excited about our new shows and the shift in our business, I can’t help but recognize how bittersweet the change is,” said Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney ABC/Television Group. “We are taking this bold step to expand our business because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days. They are telling us there is room for informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on ‘real life’ takeaways. A perfect example of this is ‘The View,’ and that factored into our decision. ‘The Chew’ and ‘The Revolution’ are in the same vein and will be great additions to the lineup, with ‘The View’ serving as an ideal foundation from which to launch these programs. They will also provide enormous opportunity for the creation of ancillary businesses and growth.”

“General Hospital,” the second-most popular show in daytime, is not impacted by this announcement and will remain on the air.

To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history with our soaps, “All My Children” and “One Life To Live” will conclude each series in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.

“‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life To Live’ are iconic pieces of television that have made an indelible mark on our culture’s history,” reflected Frons. “Each of the shows has touched millions and millions of viewers and informed the social consciousness. It has been a privilege to work with the extraordinary teams who brought the residents of Pine Valley and Llanview to life each day, and we thank the cast, crew, producers and most especially the fans for their commitment to the shows through their history.”

None of this could have been possible without the extraordinary Agnes Nixon. “More than 40 years ago, Agnes Nixon created both the worlds of ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life To Live,’ worlds that the rest of us have been privileged to live in,” said Frons. “Her shows led the way forward, breaking a lot of rules along the way to defy expectations about what soaps can do and the issues they can cover.

I am honored to have worked with her.”

“All My Children” has revolved around the lives of the residents of fictional Pine Valley, a town which closely resembles the Philadelphia Main Line. “All My Children” took home the 1998 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, the third time the show received this top honor, having also garnered the award in 1994 and 1992. “All My Children” has received more than 30 Emmy Awards and consistently distinguishes itself in the field of daytime drama. The show has historically been committed to and is often the first to tackle social issues, focusing on such topics as AIDS, abortion, cochlear implants, teenage alcoholism, racial bias, acquaintance rape, spousal abuse, homosexuality, Reyes syndrome, Vietnam MIAs, drug abuse, the risks of motherhood over 40, safe sex, pet therapy and organ donations, among others. The show made television history airing daytime television’s first same-sex kiss between two lesbian characters, as well as daytime television’s first same sex wedding between two women. It was the first to chronicle the coming-out story of a transgender woman and to cast a real life Iraq War veteran whose story reflected his real life experiences and injuries incurred in combat.

“All My Children” premiered on the ABC Television Network on January 5, 1970, as a half-hour show; seven years later it expanded to an hour. Julie Hanan Carruthers is executive producer.

Also created by Agnes Nixon, Emmy Award-winning “One Live to Live” is set in the fictional town of Llanview, which is modeled on a Philadelphia suburb. “One Life To Live” debuted on The ABC Television Network July 15, 1968 as a half-hour show. Ten years later, it grew to a full hour in 1978.

“One Life To Live” has been lauded for its groundbreaking exploration of social issues, diverse canvas, award-winning performances and innovative storylines. Along with the history-making week of live shows in May 2002, “One Life To Live” is responsible for many “firsts” in Daytime television, including stories of interracial romance, illiteracy, medical misdiagnosis, racial prejudice, gang violence and teen pregnancy. The show received mass critical acclaim for its 1992 homophobia storyline, which captured national headlines when it introduced the character of a gay teen (played by then unknown Ryan Phillippe) and culminated with the emotional display of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. “One Life To Live” was honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the Outstanding Daytime Drama Award in 1993, and again in 2005 and 2010.

In 2002 the show won its first-ever Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, and was nominated again in 2007 and 2008. Created by Agnes Nixon, “One Life To Live” debuted on July 15, 1968 and marked its 10,000th episode on August 17, 2007. Frank Valentini executive-produces.