'X Factor' chiefs are planning three-hour long shows.
Bosses of the ITV1 talent series want to maximise profits and think extending the first few opening episodes will be the ideal way, because it will please both fans and advertisers.
An insider told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "The feeling is that the audience can't get enough of the show and extending the programmes again seems the natural step. The idea is simple. More 'X Factor' will mean more viewers, more advertising space, more telephone votes, and ultimately, more revenue.
"The final details are still being ironed out but there will definitely be more 'X Factor' on screen this year than there has ever been seen before. There are going to be longer shows and, hopefully, more of them."
The longest-ever 'X Factor' episode was last year's first live show, which aired for two-and-a-half hours and saw the 12 finalists compete, as will as four "wildcard" contestants. This year, bosses are hoping to begin the final stages with 16 finalists.
The show has undergone an overhaul with regular judges Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue all leaving and being replaced with Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos, while Louis Walsh has remained on the panel.Reuse content