Not to say I told you so (seriously, what kind of jerk would do that?), but I'm wondering if the New York Times has any regrets about rather prematurely stating "The X Factor" -- despite falling short of expectations -- was "a clear success."
As I stated in response to that piece, way back in December, the question of how well "X Factor" did was only half the story:
For years, Fox resisted airing "American Idol" twice a year, as ABC does with "Dancing With the Stars" and CBS does with "Survivor," because it didn't want to gamble on diluting TV's highest-rated program. So the big risk in "X Factor" wasn't just how well Simon Cowell's answer to "Idol" would do, but how much -- or whether -- the new show would cannibalize audience from his old one.
Certainly, other networks have drawn that conclusion, with NBC Entertainment Chief Bob Greenblatt justifying two editions of "The Voice" next season by noting "X Factor" was really just an "Idol" surrogate.
While there's no exact formula and other factors, like the glut of singing competitions, including "The Voice," no doubt played a part, it does seem Fox sacrificed on one end to achieve somewhat disappointing gains on the other.
This isn't intended to pick on the Times. Daily journalism -- and indeed punditry -- require drawing conclusions, and only later examining how well they turn out. (If we choose to acknowledge our failings at all.)
This is one case, however, where the questions were foreseeable but kind of got in the way of a good story. And don't we all hate it when that happens?