Call it "The $ Factor."
It's no surprise that Fox ushering in new judges to replace the departing Britney Spears would save "The X Factor" some money, but according to The Hollywood Reporter it's no small sum.
Spears commanded a hefty $15 million dollar salary for her one season stint on the talent show's second season, while the two newly announced judges Paulina Rubio and Kelly Rowland will pull in approximately $2.5 million between them. The former Destiny's Child singer will reportedly make approximately what Demi Lovato made in her first year. Meanwhile, Mexican singer Rubio will command a $1.5 million check while doing double duty as a judge on "La Voz Kids," Telemundo's Spanish-language version of "The Voice" for kids.
If ratings remain steady for the upcoming season, it's hard to call this anything but a smart move. The entire point of paying big money for Spears' involvement last season was the prospect of the pop singer bringing in big ratings.
Unfortunately, despite the addition of Spears with the returning Simon Cowell, L.A. Reid and Demi Lovato, the show wound up losing 20 percent of its audience. Ad revenue also saw a sharp drop from $502 million in the show's first year to $386 million during Spears' season.
Will the show suffer an even greater ratings drop with the loss of Spears?