The X Factor is a British television music competition to find new singing talent, contested by aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began in September 2004 and has since aired annually from August/September through to December. The show is produced by FremantleMedia’s Thames and Cowell’s production company SYCOtv. It is broadcast on the ITV network in the United Kingdom and TV3 in Ireland, with spin-off behind-the-scenes show The Xtra Factor screened on ITV2. It is the originator of the international The X Factor franchise. The X Factor was devised as a replacement for the highly successful Pop Idol, which was put on indefinite hiatus after its second series, largely because Cowell, who was a judge on Pop Idol, wished to launch a show to which he owned the television rights. The perceived similarity between the two shows later became the subject of a legal dispute. The “X Factor” of the title refers to the undefinable “something” that makes for star quality.
The original judging panel was Cowell, Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh. Dannii Minogue joined the panel in series 4, and Cheryl Cole replaced Osbourne in series 5 after her departure. After series 7, Cowell and Cole both left to judge the American version of the show whilst Minogue left the show due to commitments on Australia’s Got Talent. Kelly Rowland, Tulisa Contostavlos and Gary Barlow then joined Walsh on the judging panel for series 8, though Rowland announced she would not return for series 9 and was replaced by Nicole Scherzinger. Osbourne later returned in 2013, replacing Contostavlos. Since 2007, the show has been presented by Dermot O’Leary, who replaced original host Kate Thornton. The show is split into a series of phases, following the contestants from auditions through to the grand finale. In the original televised audition phase of the show, contestants sang in an audition room in front of just the judges. From series 6 onwards, auditionees sing on a stage in front of the judges and a live audience. Successful auditionees go through to “bootcamp” and then to “judges’ houses”, where judges narrow down the acts in their category down to three or four acts to mentor for the live shows, where the public vote for their favourite acts following weekly live performances by the contestants.
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Hidden deep in the wilderness of Alaska is the toughest town in America: McCarthy. Only 42 residents brave the extreme conditions. They are mavericks, trailblazers, risk takers and rabble rousers, all trying to escape their past by surviving at the end of America.
The Real World is a reality television program on MTV originally produced by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray. First broadcast in 1992, the show, which was inspired by the 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family, is the longest-running program in MTV history and one of the longest-running reality series in history, credited with launching the modern reality TV genre.
The series was hailed in its early years for depicting issues of contemporary young-adulthood relevant to its core audience, such as sex, prejudice, religion, abortion, illness, sexuality, AIDS, death, politics and substance abuse, but later garnered a reputation as a showcase for immature and irresponsible behavior.
Following Bunim’s death from breast cancer in 2004, Bunim/Murray Productions continues to produce the program. The 28th and most recent season, set in Portland, Oregon, premiered on March 27, 2013, and ended its first run on June 12, 2013. An upcoming 29th season, set in San Francisco, California, is currently in production, and is expected to air in 2014.
The series has generated two notable spin-offs, both broadcast by MTV: Road Rules, which lasted for 14 seasons, and the reality game show The Challenge, which has run for over 20 seasons since 1998. The Challenge is mostly cast-contestant dependent on both The Real World and Road Rules, as it combines contestants from various seasons of both shows. Coordinating the series with its spin-off, MTV alternates between airing seasons of The Real World and The Challenge and ends out seasons of both shows by showing previews for the upcoming season of the other.
The ultimate sixteen-week job interview where eighteen Americans compete in a series of rigorous business tasks, many of which include prominent Fortune 500 companies and require street smarts and intelligence to conquer, in order to show the boss that they are the best candidate for his companies. In each episode, the losing team is sent to the boardroom where they are judged on their performance in the task. One person is fired and sent home.
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Jersey Shore is an American reality television series which ran on MTV from December 3, 2009 to December 20, 2012 in the United States. The series follows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Season 2 followed the cast escaping the cold northeast winter to Miami Beach, with Season 3 returning to the Jersey Shore. The fourth season, filmed in Italy, premiered on August 4, 2011. The show returned for a fifth season, at Seaside Heights on January 5, 2012. The fifth season finale aired on March 15, 2012. On March 19, 2012, MTV confirmed that the series would return for their sixth season. On August 30, 2012, MTV announced that the Jersey Shore would end after the sixth season, which premiered on October 4. The series finale aired on December 20, 2012.
The show debuted amid large amounts of controversy regarding the use of the words “Guido/Guidette,” portrayals of Italian-American stereotypes, and scrutiny from locals because the cast members were not residents of the area.
The series garnered record ratings for MTV, making it the network’s most viewed series telecast ever. The series’ cast have also been credited with introducing unique lexicon and phrases into American popular culture.
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