Musical Chairs

Posted on September 12, 2012 

The war among singing competitions got heated this week as "The Voice" (NBC, 8 p.m.) scheduled an extra episode of auditions tonight against the premiere of "X-Factor" (Fox, 8 p.m.)

Simon Cowell, producer/host of "X-Factor," took it as a slight, but honestly, what's the difference between two musical competitions on two networks squaring off against each other than, say, two sitcoms, or two cop dramas?

(Actually, it's going to be three, since "America's Got Talent" airs at 9 p.m. on NBC, going against the second hour of "X-Factor.")

"The Voice's" numbers dipped in its Monday premiere from last season, but it's still the biggest thing on NBC.

But my guess is that fans of the genre will click over to "X-Factor" tonight, because a) it's the third straight night of "The Voice," and fatigue might set in with viewers; and b) because "X-Factor" has a revamped lineup of judges by adding pop stars Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.

"X-Factor" was supposed to be THE breakout hit for Fox last season, and while the numbers were good -- in the 12 million range -- it wasn't the runaway success that "American Idol" was in its first couple of seasons.

The fact is, there's just too many of these shows. I liked the format and talent of "The Voice," so that's the one I watch, but I don't watch it consistently.

Given that there's "The Voice," "X-Factor," "America's Got Talent," "American Idol," "Duets" etc., plus similar shows on cable, it's simply too much. "Idol" got big because it was the only show of its kind for a long while. Now, it's hard to keep them all straight.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Not too much else beyond what is listed above. NBC will premiere its new sitcom, "Guys With Kids," at 10 p.m. I haven't seen it, but the reviews from other critics have not been kind.

Other than that, there's a new "Royal Pains" at 9 p.m.

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