Wednesday, 8 p.m. on Fox
Yes, "The X-Factor" is a lot like "American Idol."
But based on the promotional reel made available by Fox (the same network that airs "Idol"), it's like someone (Simon Cowell) took "American Idol" and revamped it, making it totally fresh and exciting.
The similarities between the shows are pretty obvious: "The X-Factor" is a singing competition and two of the judges are Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul. The biggest difference is that there's no age limit for the contestants. Also, groups can compete. And the first time the judges (Cowell, Abdul, former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, and former Chairman of Island Def Jam L.A. Reid) see the contestants, the singers are on a stage with full musical backup and a big, live audience. But even though the performers have presumably already made it through a round or two of auditions to get the spot before judges, that doesn't mean there aren't also some clunkers and weirdos (because they know we like that stuff too).
It also looks like we'll get to see more behind-the-scenes stuff like arguing (judges with producers, judges with audience members, judges with judges), though how much of that is real and how much is staged is anyone's guess.
Tonight's show is part one of the two-part premiere. Part two airs tomorrow night 8. Hy Marks, the Durham man suing the show over his experience at the Miami audition will be shown at some point, but I'm not sure exactly when.