Simon Cowell predicts "X Factor" will thrash rivals

Fri Aug 5, 2011 5:08pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Big, brash and confident as ever, Simon Cowell said on Friday that his upcoming "The X Factor" would thrash the competition on U.S. television and topple "American Idol" as the nation's most-watched show.

Cowell, both executive producer and acid-tongued judge on the U.S. version of "The X Factor" called the singing contest a "game changer" and said it was "completely different" in style and content from his old vehicle "American Idol".

Asked whether he thought "X Factor", with its unprecedented $5 million cash prize for the winner, would beat "Idol" in the TV ratings when it debuts on Fox in September, Cowell told television journalists.

"If I didn't think we could -- and its not just 'Idol', it's any show -- we don't enter something for the silver medal. You do it because you want to be number one, and for the next few months we are going to throw everything at this to try and make it the best show on TV," the British producer said.

"I wouldn't have made the show unless I thought it would be different...we see this as a game changer," he added.

Fox, which broadcasts both talent shows, said it believed "X Factor" would reverse the network's historically "patchy" ratings in the fall TV season.

"If 'X Factor' can do half of what we hope it will do in the fall, Fox is going to be really difficult for the other guys to reckon with," Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said.

"X Factor" marks the return of the abrasive but popular Cowell to U.S. television after quitting "American Idol" in 2010 following 10 years in the judges' seat, and reunites him with his old "Idol" sparring partner Paula Abdul.   Continued...