The timing is...not great. Just as Britney Spears is about to do three hours of live television per week—X Factor's live episodes begin Nov. 1—some of her darkest moments have been catapulted into the spotlight via the Sam Lufti defamation case against the Spears family.
Now, reports are surfacing (started by the Daily Mail) that X Factor producers are "nervous" about Britney's mental state, and have requested an increased time delay during the live shows.
While Fox has no comment, sources at X Factor tell us that's not true. "No one is worried about Britney any more," says one insider. "She's proven she can do this. Even her critics have come around." Adds another source who works on the show: "We have seen nothing to be concerned about. [Britney] has been professional."
Of course, it's worth mentioning that with Spears' name blasted all over the news this week, it's possible more viewers may tune in for X Factor's live shows, which will be the first time we see new judges Britney and Demi Lovato unedited.
A boost in ratings certainly would be welcomed by Fox, since NBC made the take-no-prisoners move to add new episodes of The Voice against X Factor's first live shows on Wednesday and Thursday next week. The Voice has been airing on Monday and Tuesday nights, but will not air on Tuesday because of the presidential election.