NATPE 2011: Zeiler: 'X-Factor' Will Be a Hit in U.S.

RTL Group CEO bullish on Simon Cowell's new Fox show 1/25/2011 03:12:42 PM Eastern

So much for lowering expectations for Fox's upcoming music competition show X Factor. Speaking at the NATPE convention in Miami, RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler predicted big things for the Simon Cowell-led show, which is from RTL subsidiary Fremantle.

"I am pretty much sure that X Factor will be a hit in the United States," he told B&C executive editor Melissa Grego, who conducted the session. Zeiler was at NATPE to receive a Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award.

While Zeiler refused to predict if ratings for X Factor will surpass those of its Fremantle and Fox cousin American Idol ["I won't make that mistake," he said], he did echo the recent opinions of Fox execs that there is room for both shows. Idol is airing now through the spring, with X Factor slated to join the Fox lineup in the fall.

"It will do fantastically because we know how to balance it [with Idol]," he said. "We hope with Fox both shows will be big hits."

A wide-ranging conversation also touched on the challenges of doing business in Russia, how the lack of variety in U.S. primetime shows could be a reason there is more network leadership changes than in Europe, and how Zeiler "will not hand one company the key to our future" when dealing with distribution companies like Netflix.

Want to read more stories like this?
Get our Free Newsletter Here!
There are no events.