After three seasons, The X-Factor has been cancelled.
Headed by executive producer and mentor Simon Cowell, the show never really caught found its voice, despite its popularity across the waters in the U.K.
“I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on 'The X Factor' and 'American Idol,'” Cowell says in an official statement. “And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!)."
He continues, "Last year, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to return to the U.K. version of ‘The X Factor’ in 2014. So for now, I’m back to the U.K. and I want to thank FOX for being an incredible partner and I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows. America, I’ll see you soon!”
Airing during Fox's fall season, the show seemed to be a great filler for singing competition junkies between seasons of American Idol, but three false starts spelled doom. In 2011, it bowed with 13 million viewers, significantly lower than Cowell's boastful 20 million-plus prediction. 2012 saw the viewers fall to 9.7 million and then even lower to 7 million last year.
After the original panel (consisting of Paul Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger, Cowell and Epic Records head L.A. Reid), there were two more attempts to breath life into the show. Demi Lovato and Britney Spears joined the panel in the second season (2012), with additional tweaks to the format. When fans continued to flee, Reid and Spears bowed out. Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio were subsequently swapped in for the third installment(2013).
But don't fret, Cowell fanatics, he will be making a splashy return to the U.K. version of the show.
“To all of us at Fox, Simon is more than one of the most prolific TV personalities of our time –he’s part of our family. A consummate showman and partner, there’s no one more passionate or creative than Simon, and we feel so fortunate to have enjoyed such a wonderful, collaborative relationship with him over the past 12 years,” says Kevin Reilly, Chairman of Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company.
“Unfortunately, there is no ‘X Factor USA’ without Simon Cowell, but we understand and support his decision to focus on the international formats and on the next phase of his personal life. We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon.”
“‘The X Factor’ has become a true global hit entertainment format produced locally in 45 countries, and since its launch in 2004, has been watched by more than half a billion people around the world,” adds Trish Kinane, President of Entertainment Programming and Executive Producer, FremantleMedia North America.
“The U.S. version of THE X FACTOR has had a great run dominating the social media charts and discovering internationally successful artists, but Simon’s return to the U.K. ‘X Factor’ has been long anticipated. We have long-running partnerships both with FOX and Syco Entertainment and very much look forward to what the future holds for our ongoing relationships with them.”