'The X Factor': Decision on hosts coming soon, FOX says [Updated]

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simon-cowell-x-factor-ratings.jpg UPDATED with quotes from Simon Cowell.

FOX hasn't hired hosts for "The X Factor" yet, but that's a situaiton that may change soon.

Network chief Kevin Reilly says the network and "X Factor" creator Simon Cowell are "pretty close" to closing a deal on a host, or hosts, as the case may be. Cowell has said he'd like to have two hosts for the talent competition, but a solo emcee is apparently still on the table.

"I think it could happen next week, or it could happen in the next two weeks," Reilly said Monday (July 23) at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. Cowell, he adds, has been weighing the idea of both a single host and a duo.

"That's going to be about who he finally selects and does he like the feel of it," Reilly says. "He's done the show with two before [in the U.K.]."

That was the plan for last season, too, but Nicole Scherzinger moved into one of the judges' slots after Cowell decided to replace Cheryl Cole, leaving Steve Jones as the lone host.

Appearing via satellite later in the day, Cowell says he's hoping to have a man and a woman as hosts -- and "ideally, I'd like someone who maybe hasn't been a host before." He says his fellow producers will be giving screen tests in the next few weeks, with hopes of making an announcement by mid-August.

Reilly does say that early returns on new judges Demi Lovato and Britney Spears have been good. He calls Lovato a "real spitfire" and says people may be surprised at what they see from Spears.

"She's tough. She knows what she's doing, she's been around," Reilly says. "She's seen it all, and she lays it on the line."

"The X Factor" premieres Sept. 12.
Photo/Video credit: FOX