Heading into their 10th season, this year of high-rating UK reality show The X Factor will be notable for the amount of seasons it has been running… but also for the amount of airtime it will receive, after it was revealed that host network ITV will be broadcasting two episodes a week of the new series.
In a move seemingly inspired by the way the American version of the franchise is broadcast on Fox (every Wednesday and Thursday evening), the original version of The X Factor will now expand to contain a double dose of content each week, set to air new episodes on both Saturdays and Sundays, including in the audition phase which has for the most part been a once-a-week segment over the last decade.
While it is currently unclear how long each installment will run for (with the wider coverage perhaps giving the opportunity for reduced episode lengths), it is known that the impact will be first felt on the weekend of 31 August & 1 September, with the Saturday & Sunday double bill schedule beginning from the off.
There is innovation behind the decision, though, as it is also said to have been made due to an ‘additional audition round’, which be a revision of the ‘live auditions’ that occur between the revived ‘audition room’ and ‘boot camp’, with producers deciding that a split weekend approach for each ‘city’ of auditionees was a better fit than to splice the footage into a single episode.
A source of the singing contest elaborated: “If contestants make it through, there’s still tension about whether they will make it to boot camp as they have to audition again in front of an audience. It would look odd mixing the footage of closed auditions with the audience try-outs, so we’re splitting them up. This way, people won’t have to wait long to see which acts have made it to boot camp.”
Despite the obvious reasons of ratings, the source attempted to downplay the intentions of the double-shift, as they added: “We want it to be The X Factor weekend. It’s not about bombarding people and overdoing it. We are celebrating the show because it’s back with a new look for the tenth anniversary.”
It will, of course, still be much more content than many casual viewers will have bargianed for, as producers this year have so far made many decisions that should easily increase the show’s quality and at least some comparitive ‘uniqueness’ (including the ‘controversial’ rumoured new ‘pre-boot camp elimination’ which is already causing some of the reality contest’s yearly dose of outrage). However, will they be able to supply enough consistent content of a raised quality (compared with before) to have those less committed viewers joining the hardcore ones in lapping up every second of The X Factor‘s 10th season?