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2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010

2 items from 2013

Simon Cowell signs £150m deal to keep X Factor on air despite sagging ratings

15 November 2013 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

ITV breathes sigh of relief as it keeps hold of treasured star, but some pundits say his grip on Saturday nights is weakening

With The X Factor being soundly beaten by Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings and the Us version facing the axe, pundits have started to question whether Simon Cowell has finally lost his grip on Saturday nights. But the television mogul emerged still smiling on Friday as he signed a new deal with ITV worth almost £150m, which will keep the show on air for at least the next three years.

Cowell promised to take his two Saturday night talent shows, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, "to the next level" after securing their future until the end of 2016.

His delight was matched by the relief of ITV at hanging on to its most treasured talent, less than a week after it lost its valuable live »

- John Plunkett

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A publicist's view on Scandal

9 July 2013 4:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

This entertaining show about the crisis-management industry is right about one thing, says publicist Mark Borkowski – sex scandals have been going on since Roman times

I hadn't heard of this show about a crisis management company in Washington DC, now entering its second series. I enjoyed it, but it's just glossy entertainment: the real business of dealing with scandals is much more complex.

There are "crisis-management companies" in the UK. I wouldn't describe my own company as one, though dealing with crises makes up 25% of business. I limit that part of my work: to be dedicated to a client caught in the maelstrom, you must have empathy – and a very meaningful budget. I don't feel that Kerry Washington, who plays company boss Olivia Pope in the show, really puts that across. Olivia has had to give up the man she loves – the Us president – for her job, but it doesn't »

- Mark Borkowski, Laura Barnett

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