Simon Cowell and last season's winners, Alex & Sierra, during 'The X Factor' finale. (Ray Mickshaw/ FOX)
Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly declined to declare "The X Factor" dead, but the singing competition produced by Simon Cowell could be running on fumes.
Reilly appeared on Monday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, where a journalist pointed out that a promotional clip reel put together by Fox did not include any traces of "The X Factor." Does that mean it's a goner?
"No decision has been made yet," said Reilly, who nevertheless admitted that the floundering reality series "underperformed" this season. Reilly also said that if "The X Factor" does return, it would most likely air for fewer hours and would not be "in the current format that we have."
Asked if it made sense to keep airing "The X Factor" in a crowded singing-competition environment when ratings for it and fellow Fox show, "American Idol," have both declined, Reilly admitted that the situation does put a strain on viewers, but cracked, "I wished 'The Voice' (on NBC) would go away first."
In other developments from the Fox executive session: "Idol" not only has a new judges panel, but Season 13, which debuts on Wednesday, will also feature some other tweaks and will spend less time on the "sort of ridiculous candidates," Reilly said. Fox has struck a development deal with The Lonely Island trio. They'll be enlisted to find new ideas and talent on the digital front that could lead to TV shows. The Lonely Island consists of Berkeley natives Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg and Jorma Taccone. No deal has been finalized for a 10th season of "Bones," but Reilly said, "I anticipate it will be back." Season 13 of the breakout hit "Sleepy Hollow" will again consist of only 13 episodes, but unlike this season, they will all run consecutively instead of being broken up. Production will begin in March. Upcoming event series "Gracepoint" will be "very faithful" to its "Broadchurch" source material, Reilly said, but "we have a different ending than" the British version. Reilly is "highly bullish" on "The Mindy Project" returning for a third season, despite less than stellar ratings. "New Girl" has enlisted pop superstar Prince for a guest appearance on its post-Super Bowl episode on Feb. 2.
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