FOX has confirmed that it has canceled The X Factor. Following the past few seasons of ratings declines, stunt casting and tepid record sales for its winners, executive producer and judge Simon Cowell will instead return to the original U.K. iteration on ITV this fall.
While Cowell announced his X Factor U.K. return first, his ITV statement was rather telling in retrospect: “It’s been three years since I last judged the competition and I’m excited to find a global superstar again.” He has a point; while The X Factor U.K. has launched the careers of One Direction, Leona Lewis and Cher Lloyd, among others, records by U.S. winners Melanie Amaro and Tate Stevens failed to take off; its unpopularity was likely a major factor.
Initially following the third season, both Cowell and FOX chairman of entertainment Kevin Reilly hinted that the show needed an overhaul of sorts, including a new judging panel and a shorter format than its two-day, Idol-like crawl (“That’s like watching a movie,” Cowell has said). By then, Demi Lovato had already decided to leave the judging panel to concentrate on her own career.
Ultimately with Cowell’s departure, though, FOX saw differently. “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,” Reilly said in a statement. “We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon.”
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