It’s no secret: without its onslaught of X Factor programming ITV would lack millions of viewers each week. The results show, this Sunday (November 7), was so popular it attracted 50% of the 8pm audience. It makes sense then that ITV2 would want to tap in to this market, but are reality shows about past contestants really the way to go?
Admittedly, clips of Jedward: Let Loose were pretty funny, in a moronic kind of way. They weren’t enough to make us watch the summer show, but the debut did attract over 370,000 others. The X Factor obviously has real pulling power, considering that the big-haired twins seem to lack any real talent. The Let Loose show was simply about them moving out of their parents’ house--and the dim things they said while they did it. Not exactly ground-breaking stuff.
Olly Murs is a more successful X Factor loser, and thus offers better prospects for a TV show (or so you’d think). He came second to Joe McElderry last year and has since reached the number one slot in Britain’s single music chart. His popularity has prompted ITV2 to launch a new hour-long show: Olly Murs Revealed, which airs this Saturday at 10.45pm--conveniently straight after The Xtra Factor. The fly-on-the-wall documentary will, it’s said, document “his rollercoaster ride from TV fame to success as an artist in his own right.” So they’ll be bragging about how The X Factor made him what he is today, then? Yawn.
Surprisingly, Olly Murs’ show sounds far more appealing that JLS’s. Airing later this year (again on ITV2), This is JLS will see the former X Factor runner-ups perform sketches and hidden camera stunts, alongside musical performances. The odd combination is barmy enough to have us intrigued, but we’d only be watching to see the disaster unfold. Seriously, what do comedy sketches--written by James Corden no less--have to do with pop music? They’re a band with a huge fan following, don’t ruin their fame through shame!
It’s as if ITV are throwing various formats at last year’s rejects in the hope they’ll have a honed TV formula for when Wagner, One Direction, and Cher Lloyd, come to need their own shows to maintain the momentum of the X Factor ratings juggernaut. This is a trend that seems to be on the rise--particularly if you include Stacey Solomon’s involvement in this season’s I’m a Celebrity--and even if we’re not excited about their broadcast there’s plenty of people who will be. The X Factor can’t be killed by overexposure (if it could, it would’ve been cancelled years ago); ITV can only gain from these endeavours. They same might not be true for their stars. What do you think?