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Posted at 06:43 PM ET, 09/11/2012

‘The Voice’s’ first fall launch attracts 12.3 million viewers

In case you were wondering why NBC decided to add a third night of “The Voice” season debut this week on Wednesday in the teeth of Fox’s re-boot of “X Factor”:

Part 1 of “The Voice’s” now three-night fall season launch attracted 12.3 million viewers from 8-10 p.m. beating, among other programs, the season finales of Fox’s popular “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef.”

 One year ago, when Fox unveiled its singing competition “X Factor,”  marking the return to primetime TV of Simon Cowell (and his made-for-TV reunion with Paula Abdul), 12.5 million viewers tuned in – far short of Cowell’s forecast of 20 million-ish, which number the show never did achieve in its first season.

On Wednesday night, “X Factor” is returning, but without Abdul; Britney Spears and Demi Lovato have been added as judges, in hopes of goosing its numbers.

 Last week on a phone call with The Reporters Who Cover Television, Cowell said NBC’s decision to add a third night of “The Voice” blind auditions at the exact same time Fox launches its reboot of “X Factor” is “mean-spirited,”  sounding, like we said, just like a 12-year-old who has just discovered her frenemy scheduled her unicorn-themed birthday party on the EXACT same day she’s scheduled her princess-themed birthday party.

Khloe Kardashian (© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters - REUTERS)
 “I am kind of pissed off about it, because there was kind of a gentleman’s agreement,” he said, which was kinda cute, given that NBC, in its scheduling stunt, is taking a page from Fox’s “How to schedule ‘American Idol’ Episodes to Best Squash New Series Launches on Other Networks playbook.

 Oh, and word on the street — “street” being TMZ, which has a very coxy relationship with Fox singing competitions, extending to Idolettes being sent to TMZ camp for on-camera paparazzi training, etc. — is that Cowell has finally settled on Khloe Kardashian to host “X Factor, ” little more than 24 hours before its season debut. Seems Khloe has some connection to Britbrit and Demi, which is going to create an “authentic vibe.”

By  |  06:43 PM ET, 09/11/2012

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