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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

"The X Factor" lineup of judges will be different in 2013. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com )

Britney Spears and 2012 get the heave-ho


It's been a long year, and two TV seasons and reruns and summer programming have come and gone.

Just a few days after the season end of Simon Cowell's "X Factor," word is that Britney Spears won't be making a return as a judge on the talent competition show.

"He wanted crazy Britney, but he got boring Britney," an unnamed source told Us Weekly of Cowell complaining that Spears didn't earn her $15 million paycheck. Now, I tend not to believe everything reported by Us Weekly, and unnamed sources always make me a bit nervous. However, if you watched any of Britney's work on the show, it was ho-hum at best.

As "X Factor" continues to reinvent itself and compete with "American Idol" and "The Voice," we will probably see a pair of new judges to join Cowell and Demi Lovato. Earlier this year, producer L.A. Reid said he wasn't going to return as a judge to the show.

As these programs used to be about the talent showcased among the contestants, they have evolved to be drama-filled plotlines involving the judges on the program. Eventually, more airtime will be given to the judges than will the contestants … and if the ratings increase, we can expect more drama … where the crazy Britney would have been welcomed.

2012 had its share of cancellations as well. Here's a rundown of some notables:

DOCTOR, DOCTOR: Medical shows come and go, but "House" was something different than what we've seen before. Hugh Laurie's masterful portrayal gave Fox its highest-rated scripted program ever. The eight seasons of shows will guarantee at least a few years of continual reruns, currently on USA.

SUNDAY NIGHT STAPLE: Scandals, drama, and did I mention scandals? "Desperate Housewives" had so many scripted scandals each week, that more than a few fan sites offered in-depth relationship breakdowns so people could keep up. The fan support is what kept the show on the air on ABC for as long as it was.

EYE FOR DESIGN: Frequent contributor to Oprah's syndicated program, designer Nate Berkus had his own hour-long show produced by Oprah's production company Harpo. As more programs were launched in 2012, and his ratings slowed, fewer stations found room for him during the day.

IN THE AIR: "Pan Am" was ABC's attempt to draw in the retro-longing audience that "Mad Men" has on AMC. As well as the performances were on the drama, the audience numbers never soared as hoped.

KISS: There was a time when Gene Simmons rock and rolled all night, and his family-fueled reality show was a natural progression after audiences watched "The Osbournes." The Kiss band member and his "Gene Simmons: Family Jewels" ran for eight seasons on A&E.

POLITICS: Starz offered Kelsey Grammer the opportunity to showcase his acting chops beyond the beloved Frasier Crane in the show "Boss." The political drama showcased a Chicago politician facing his own demons while trying to stay in office. As good as the show was, sustaining original programming on a second-tier pay channel can be difficult.

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