It's a time slot turf war! NBC's third season of "The Voice" debuted Sept.10 at 8 p.m., kicking off our fall reality TV schedule with its preliminary blind auditions, where hopefuls compete unseen to the judges for a spot on the show. The series will roll out a three-night premiere, not so conveniently conflicting with Simon Cowell's anticipated new season of "The X Factor" this Wednesday on Fox. The season of Cowell's American edition of the British franchise has been hyped up because of new judges and pop stars, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, who are taking the spots of Paul Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, alongside Cowell and music mogul L.A. Reid. "The X Factor" panel's star power is quite strong, but it will have to compete with "The Voice" judges: Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, and Blake Shelton, who span multiple music genres.
Cowell has not been taking the competing time slots lightly and called the addition of a third night of "The Voice" premiere: "a cynical, cold-hearted, unprofessional way of doing business," in an interview with TMZ.
He went on to say that the networks had a "gentleman's agreement," so the two shows would run their two-night episodes on opposing schedules ("Voice" on Monday and Tuesday, and "X Factor" on Wednesday and Thursday) before the third "Voice" slot was announced last week.
Cowell also noted that this may peg two former Mickey Mouse co-stars against each other: ""Britney's not going to appreciate the fact that Christina -- who has been a bit of a rival -- isn't allowing Britney to have a night of her own."
However, Yahoo! shared an opinion that Cowell's anger may be a little misplaced: "Ironically, the penultimate and grand-finale episodes of 'America's Got Talent,' a program that Simon Cowell actually executive-produces, is ALSO airing the same nights next week as 'The X Factor' -- so maybe Simon should be equally angry with himself!"
"The Voice" kicks off their three-night season three premiere tonight on NBC at 8 p.m., and "X Factor" premieres this Wednesday and Thursday on Fox at 8 p.m. Following premiere week, "The Voice" will resume a Monday and Tuesday 8 p.m. slot while "The X Factor" will take on Wednesday and Thursday at the same time.
What do you think of the decision to extend "The Voice" premiere into "The X Factor" time slot territory? Do you think it was a power move, or merely a coincidence? What do you think of Cowell's comments -- out of line? Typical Simon behavior? Or justified?
And finally, are you Team Christina or Team Britney? As for us, call us when someone gets Justin Timberlake on a panel.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsMatthew Gilbert is the Globe's TV critic.
Sarah Rodman is a staff TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.