Fox announced on Friday (February 7) that it’s pulling the plug on “X Factor” after just three seasons as judge Simon Cowell returns to the native U.K. version of the reality singing competition.
“I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on ‘The X Factor’ and ‘ American Idol,’” Cowell said in a statement to MTV News. “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!). 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!”
In the same statement, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said the reason for canceling the relatively young series is “there is no ‘X Factor USA’ without Simon Cowell.”
“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. 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.”
Cowell sat on the judges’ table of “X Factor U.K.” for seasons one through seven, until he moved Stateside to start a U.S. version. While the show saw enormous success across the pond, it failed to take off here, especially in the face of reality-competition juggernaut “The Voice.”
In a press conference in December, right after it was announced that Demi Lovato and Britney Spears would not be returning to “X Factor,” Cowell cited the show’s low ratings to an overcrowded market.
“We were expecting there was going to be a problem with the ratings this year, not just with us but with everything, because it’s overkill, there are way too many talent shows on,” Cowell said at the time.