MediaWorks TV

Simon Cowell Needs at Least 26.2 Million Viewers for 'X Factor' Tonight. Are You in?

Also: What's Going on With Paula Abdul's Face?

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Simon Cowell
Simon Cowell

You already know that Simon Cowell's U.S. version of "The X Factor" debuts tonight at 8/7 C on Fox -- unless you live under a rock (in which case you're also likely unaware that Geico could save you 15% or more on your car insurance ... and I'm profoundly envious of you). But there's just no way we couldn't show you something "X Factor"-related as part of the MediaWorks Guide to Fall TV, our series of video cheat sheets to help you stay on top of the cultural/media conversation about the season's brand new shows. So embedded below is the latest promo clip uploaded to the show's overstuffed (89 videos so far!) official YouTube channel: the "World Premiere Event," which includes fan reaction to the first episode and red-carpet footage. Please watch it -- and then somebody kindly explain to me what is going on (at roughly the 0:25 mark) with Paula Abdul's face. (I'm worried.)

Also, just to put things in perspective, here are the short-term stakes for Simon Cowell: He needs to attract at least 26.2 million viewers tonight. Anything less than that number -- which is what the premiere episode of the Cowell-free 10th season of "American Idol" drew in January -- will surely be a huge disappointment for him.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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