Simon Cowell's X Factor is (Maybe) a Sham

... Wait, reality television might be... fake?! Scandal! UK hit The X Factor has been pelted with proverbial rotten tomatoes since reports surfaced that the show used auto-tuning to make its performers sound better (and worse). The audio doctoring was used to inject more entertainment value into the show by making the good sound great and the not-so-good sound like drowning cats so we could all make fun of them for going on national television and singing their hearts out. By the way, this show is coming to America next year. Enjoy! [The Mirror]

... Chloe Sullivan will be back on Smallville next year, and now we know for how long. Actress Allison Mack, who has flirted with leaving the long-running program for the last few seasons, said it was the fans' support that helped her decide to stay for the upcoming final season. Mack says she'll appear in five episodes in order to give Chloe a proper send-off. [NY Post]

... All ye Buffy the Vampire Slayer freaks, listen up: James Marsters, who played Spike, will star in Syfy's new show Three Inches, which is NOT the opposite of MTV's Hard Times of R.J. Berger. It's about superheroes with some not-so-superpowers, such as the ability to move objects... but only three inches. This show has garnered some buzz for its unique take on the genre and could be a sleeper hit. [Digital Spy]

... Steven Spielberg is teaming with Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman, those guys who are writing everything these days, to adapt the graphic novel Locke & Key into a TV show. Written by Joe Hill (a.k.a. the son of Stephen King), the comics focus on a group of kids who watch over a mystical New England mansion. [NY Mag]

... People still love Keeping Up with the Kardashians, for whatever reason. The fifth-season premiere of the show about fake celebrities drew E!'s second-highest ratings ever, right after last season's Kardashian finale. C'mon, people. Unless you're watching The Soup, E! rots your brain. [EW]

... HBO's Boardwalk Empire may have cost $65 million to make. The pilot may have cost $18 million on its own. By comparison, the Lost pilot was reportedly a $10 million endeavor, one of the most expensive television pilots ever. So if my math is correct, Boardwalk Empire will be 80 percent better than Lost. [NY Mag]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Like on Facebook