12:15pm PT by Shirley Halperin
Upfronts 2012: Britney Spears to Arrive With Simon Cowell
The big reveal is but an hour away as executives and talent at Fox gather backstage at New York's Beacon Theater. Chief among them: X Factor boss Simon Cowell who, The Hollywood Reporter hears, is expected to escort new trophy judge Britney Spears to the stage.
The official announcement will finally quiet months of rumors following the season 1 ouster of judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul. As THR first reported, teen star Demi Lovato is expected to round out the panel. The new judges are scheduled to hold a short briefing at 4 p.m. EST.
During a conference call this morning, Fox executives stressed the need to make the series more “entertaining” and “exciting,” something they believe a new jolt of talent at the judges’ table can do.
The network's new programming slate includes projects from Kevin Williamson and Mindy Kaling and such stars as Kevin Bacon, Becki Newton and Jordana Spiro.