Reality TV lovers may find themselves torn between shows on September 12 (when the third night of "The Voice" airs opposite FOX's "The X Factor" Season 2 premiere) and "X Factor" boss Simon Cowell is none too pleased with squaring off against the NBC hit.
"It is a spoiling tactic and it's very simple - [NBC doesn't] want people to see this first episode," Simon told reporters on a Thursday conference call of "X Factor" dueling against "The Voice" during its first week. "I think it's mean-spirited and I hope and I pray that it backfires on them because this is one of the best shows we've ever made.
"And I am pissed off about it because I think there's kind of a gentlemen's agreement, but you have to rely that the viewers will make the right selection," he continued, adding that "The Voice's" three-night premiere (which begins September 10 and continues through the 12) is "too much" for viewers.
As for which show he believes will win the ratings battle, Simon said he's hoping "The X Factor" takes the crown, with a boost from viewers who are eager to see how Britney Spears and Demi Lovato do as reality TV judges.
"I think there's a lot of interest, rightly so, in our show because of Britney, Demi, the way show is going to look, so we're gonna see what happens," he said. "But I've learned don't make any predictions!"
(Simon famously told The Hollywood Reporter, ahead of Season 1 in 2011, that it would be a "disappointment" if his show premiered to less than 20 million. In the end, it took in just 12.5.)
During the call, the British "X Factor" boss and judge also admitted that hosts have not yet been chosen for the singing competition (Steve Jones hosted Season 1).
"Not yet, no," he said, when asked if they've chosen a host or hosts. "We've screen-tested a lot of people, but the audition shows don't have any hosts, so we've got about three or four weeks."
Adding, "But I think we're going to make a decision in about the next seven days. My gut feeling is we'll probably go with a boy and a girl who haven't had any hosting experience because I think that will make it most interesting."
"The X Factor" Season 2 premieres on September 12 - 13 at 8/7c on FOX.
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