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”:


(NBC/TYLER GOLDEN/NBC)

 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)

 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.”