- - 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

Andy Rooney, who delivered his last essay on “60 Minutes” three weeks ago, was in the hospital Tuesday after developing serious complications following surgery, the Associated Press reports.

CBS said the 92-year-old writer’s condition was stable and, at the request of his family, offered no other information about his medical problems or where he was hospitalized.

The three-time Emmy winner was a regular presence on television’s most popular newsmagazine. Since 1978, “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney” wrapped up the Sunday-night program, often with a look at the absurdities of life and language.

Mr. Rooney could talk about what was in the news or what was in his closet. One of his Emmy Awards was for an essay about whether there was a real Mrs. Smith behind Mrs. Smith’s pies.

On Oct. 2, he delivered his 1,097th and final essay, saying it was a moment he had dreaded.

“I wish I could do this forever. I can’t, though,” he said.

Chaz Bono voted off ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Chaz Bono has gotten his walking papers on “Dancing With the Stars,” the Associated Press reports.

Tuesday’s edition of the hit ABC show marked the last dance for Mr. Bono. Despite his cheerful, spirited style, he had struggled from the beginning and came in last in the judges’ assessment the night before.

The transgender activist said he came on the program “to show America a different kind of man.”

Soccer star Hope Solo, who also was in jeopardy, avoided dismissal and will stay in contention. Six celebrities remain in the contest.

‘Person,’ ‘Unforgettable’ get full-season orders

CBS has given full-season orders to two of its new dramas, “Person of Interest” and “Unforgettable,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The pair join the freshman comedy “2 Broke Girls” in CBS’ new fare earning back-nine pickup orders.

From executive producer J.J. Abrams, “Person of Interest” has performed well in its competitive 9 p.m. Thursday slot, averaging 9.5 million total viewers.

“Unforgettable,” starring Poppy Montgomery, regularly wins its Tuesday 10 p.m. slot in total viewers against established dramas including NBC’s “Parenthood” and ABC’s “Body of Proof.” Most recently, the procedural drew 11.9 million viewers.

“Person of Interest” stars “Lost’s” Michael Emerson as a mysterious billionaire who teams with an ex-CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) to prevent violent crimes in New York. “Unforgettable” centers on a Brooklyn cop (Miss Montgomery) who has the ability to remember everything.

MTV turns its cameras on Occupy Wall Street

The Occupy Wall Street movement will occupy MTV for an episode of its documentary series “True Life.”

According to the Associated Press, the network said the show will follow three young people on the front lines in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan. MTV embedded its cameras over a two-week period to capture protesters’ activities and explore what motivates them.

Bryan joined the protest to express his disgust at the relationship that government has with big business. Kait and Caitlin are college students worried they won’t be able to find jobs when they graduate.

The episode is scheduled to air at 6 p.m. Nov. 5.

Compiled from Web and wire reports.