This week's TV: The X Factor (the UK version)
Someone at DR3 must have the hots for Simon Cowell given the channel’s decision to replace the cancelled US X Factor with its UK equivalent now that the world’s richest judge has called it quits stateside to return home.
With it comes the Danish TV debut of hosts Ant and Dec, a couple of infectious Geordies who have been going through puberty since the late 1980s.
But Cowell, who has been making these kinds of shows since his debut on the UK version of Pop Idol in 2001 – the real money came when he took the show to the US with a producer’s credit – is the undisputed star of a show that is monumentally popular in the UK, with nearly 2 billion YouTube views on its official channel.
Cowell has built his reputation on blithely crushing the aspirations of scores of hopeful stars.
Insults like “You have the personality of a handle" and “If you had lived 2,000 years ago and sung like that, I think they would have stoned you,” are integral to the show’s success.
Without his comments, it would all be a little dull.
SVT1, Fri 22:50 Beatles in the US tribute concert
While the First World War looks set to dominate the anniversaries for the next four years, don’t forget how it was 50 years ago today that a certain foursome from Liverpool were taking over the airwaves and our hearts forever. Beatles in the US tribute concert recalls the most consequential tour of our times.
John Lennon would relate to 15,000 kids and counting (DR2, Mon & Wed 23:00), a harrowing two-parter about how children end up in care, given how he was removed from his birth mother and brought up by his aunt.
And if you like them grisly, why not try The Disappeared DR2, Tue 20:45), a chilling doc about the families of IRA victims who still have no closure on their lives.
Elsewhere, watch the first ever episode of likeable British all-female sketch show Smack the Pony (DR2, Mon 19:35); we’ve got season two of Vikings (DR3, Sat 20:55); The Sun (DR2, Mon 18:45) is about everyone’s favourite star not the newspaper; while reality singing contest Popstars (K5, Sun, Mon & Tue 20:00) will try to fill the void left by X Factor should the British one not do it for you. (BH)
All Nucky has ever wanted is to have a drink in peace
No comebacks: Nucky saw off this gangsta in season 3
There were two pieces of bad news for fans of epic 1920s gangster series Boardwalk Empire over the summer.
Firstly, the fifth season, which starts in the US on September 7, will be its last. And secondly, it will be eight episodes, not the usual 12.
A lot has happened since we saw Nucky, Chalky and Mickey – seven years worth.
And judging by the bullet-heavy trailer, some of them will go out shooting.
History tells us Luciano and Capone won’t, so here’s hoping they get a spin-off series of their own. (BH)
Sport of the week:
K6, Sun 20:00 Euro 2016 qualifier: Germany vs Scotland (photo: Danilo Borges)
Has K6 fallen out of love with England? And like a scorned lover, moved nextdoor to show Euro 2016 qualifiers Georgia vs Ireland (Sun 17:55) and Germany vs Scotland? Meanwhile, the NFL is back with Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins, and don’t miss the resumption of Rosberg vs Hamilton in the Italian GP. (BH)
3+, Sun 12:30 Italian Grand Prix (photo: Scanpix)
3+, Sun 22:00 NFL: Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins (photo: Scanpix)
Film of the week:
DR3, Mon 22:30 Red Road
TV2, Fri 23:15 Cop Out
TV3, Sun 21:00 Safe House
Where’s the real Kevin Smith? His future looked so bright after Clerks – he should have stuck to making movies for peanuts. Buddy cop-out Cop Out is the very highest order of excrement. Safe House with Denzel W and Ryan Reynolds isn’t much better, but taut British thriller Red Road is, despite the Von Trier connection. (BH)