The X Factor Vs American Idol – Can Simon Cowell Pull It Off?

Simon Cowell is back on American television in a judging role, going head to head with his former show, American Idol. In The X Factor, Cowell has a larger personal stake in the success of the show and surely America is ready to see their favorite mean judge back in action, but will it be enough to justify the $35 Million in marketing already spent on The X Factor before it’s even showcased a single singer?

American Idol has been rolling along, not as strong as it was, but still knocking out any competition with a 20 million plus audience. Meanwhile, the airwaves have been flooded with talent shows since Cowell’s departure, some to rave reviews, but none have garnered the audience American Idol has; in fact, most of them have disappeared after only a few shows or one season.

The X Factor has played big in the UK, but can it dominate in a market where there is more competition, including the American Idol behemoth? All the stops have been pulled out with a massive marketing campaign, bringing Cowell and Abdul back together, and promising a huge $5 million purse to the winner of the talent show. If The X Factor can match or beat American Idol’s numbers, it will have been a success even at the $35 million price tag. But even the critically acclaimed The Voice hasn’t been able to pull more than 14 million. has the bar been set too high?