ITV pins hopes on talent show

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[London] The U.K.'s largest commercial network, ITV, is hoping for a ratings boost this month from its latest TV talent search show "X Factor," starring Simon Cowell of "American Idol" and "Osbournes" star Sharon Osbourne, after a series of reality-show disappointments. Nokia is expected to be the main sponsor. Mr. Cowell's first show, the U.K.'s "Pop Idol," regularly drew more than 8 million viewers.

The show started Sept. 4 and is open to any soloist or vocal group over the age of 16. Three groups of finalists will be mentored by Mr. Cowell, Ms. Osbourne and the third judge, former boy-band manager Louis Walsh.

Other reality shows have not fared well recently. ITV's "The Block," a home-improvement-themed series that is based on a highly successful Australian format and features Mr. Cowell's brother Nicholas, has been pushed back from a prime-time slot to 11 p.m. after disappointing ratings.

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