- - Wednesday, October 26, 2011

‘X Factor’ expanding voting to include Twitter

Simon Cowell doesn’t use Twitter, but he wants “X Factor” fans to use the site to vote for their favorite contestants, according to the Associated Press.

The Fox show announced earlier this week that beginning Wednesday, fans can cast a ballot by sending a direct message over Twitter to the official “X Factor” account. Viewers also can cast a ballot on the show’s Facebook page and its official website.

“It’s a sign of the times,” said Mr. Cowell, who thinks more votes will come in as a result of expanding the process. “Sites like Twitter and Facebook give [the audience] a much bigger voice.”

Aside from social media, votes can be sent the old-fashioned way, by making a phone call or sending a text message and by using a special app created for Verizon Android devices.

Mr. Cowell said he uses the Internet to gauge what people think of the series so far. He goes online during and after the show to see what people are saying and plans to join Twitter once he learns “how to type quicker.”

The show is averaging about 12.5 million viewers an episode, but one thing that’s hindered it in recent weeks is the Major League Baseball World Series. Games on Fox have pre-empted the show, leading to confusion among viewers and causing some DVRs to not record “X Factor.”

Mr. Cowell said the conflict has been frustrating, but they “knew in advance this was going to happen.” He said he thinks the ratings have been consistent so far and word of mouth will get people to tune in.

AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ renewed for third season

“The Walking Dead” will live on for yet another year.

According to the Associated Press, the AMC network said Tuesday that its hit zombie drama, just two weeks into a second season, will be returning for a third season.

Sunday’s episode drew an audience of 6.7 million viewers for the early airing and another 2.1 million viewers for the same-night repeat.

That eclipsed the year-ago audience for the series, which emerged as a surprise hit by averaging 5.2 million viewers weekly during that first season.

Based on the popular comic book of the same name, “The Walking Dead” depicts the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse confronted by a group of survivors outside Atlanta. Its cast includes Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal and Sarah Wayne Callies.

Rooney remains hospitalized after surgery complications

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