Saturday January 12, 2013

LOS ANGELES -- Britney Spears is out of "The X Factor" after a season in which the pop star failed to deliver a ratings boost for the singing contest, according to a person familiar with the show’s plans.

Creator Simon Cowell and fellow producers are discussing replacements for Spears and another panelist, record producer Antonio "L.A." Reid, said the person, who lacked authority to comment publicly and insisted on anonymity.

The December season finale drew 9.7 million viewers, compared to more than 12 million for the first year’s season-ender. Although the series has failed to match Cowell’s bold pre-debut predictions, and certainly hasn’t eclipsed sister Fox show "American Idol," it’s helped shore up the network’s fall schedule.

Spears, however, proved less than a one-season wonder. Combining fame and a history of erratic behavior, she was seen as a potential spark for better ratings. But reviewers faulted her for appearing inexpressive to the point of boredom and for a repetitively dull use of the word "awesome."

Fox network chief Kevin Reilly defended Spears, saying she was doing "a really good job" during a Q&A with the Television Critics Association.

"She came on, people remain fascinated with her and always will be," he said. "Maybe some people were waiting for more drastic displays of some nature that never came, so for those expecting that, it didn’t happen."


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