Simon Cowell announces ‘return to the UK’ as ‘The X-Factor’ USA gets cancelled


Here are some photos of Simon Cowell on Friday in England. Why does he look so happy? That’s what I was asking myself. On Friday, Fox finally cancelled The X-Factor… well, the American version. The UK’s X-Factor is still going strong and I believe it’s one of the biggest hit shows in the UK. But Americans didn’t care for our version of it, which also starred Simon Cowell (he executive produced and created it as well). Simon and Fox threw crazy money at the American version, trying to get it to work, trying to buy their way into an audience, but the ratings kept falling.

The X Factor has been crossed off Fox’s schedule. The network is canceling the singing-competition series after three seasons of declining ratings. The news comes the same day judge and executive producer Simon Cowell announced he would return to the UK version of the show.

Cowell, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly and FremantleMedia North America president of entertainment Trish Kinane released statements pinning the decision on Cowell deciding to return to the UK series. But Fox had an option to renew X Factor and debated for months whether to bring it back. For a while, Fox considered renewing the series for a fourth round with fewer hours per week, mirroring a production-tightening move that ABC’s Dancing with the Stars made this fall. The recent season of Factor averaged 7.1 million viewers and a mere 2.3 rating among adults 18-49 on Wednesday nights, including seven days of DVR playback.

“I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on The X Factor and American Idol,” said Cowell in a 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!). 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!”

Reilly added: “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 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.”

From the start, X Factor struggled to make a positive impression on U.S. viewers compared to overseas editions. It came across as more cartoonish and manipulative than Idol, with a revolving door of celebrity judges that never seemed to truly connect with both each other and viewers. The show particularly suffered by comparison to NBC’s rival start-up hit The Voice, which started airing a fall edition last season and charmed viewers with its warmly engaging panel of “coaches.” Factor was also blamed by some observers — fair or not — for hastening Idol‘s ratings decline, since it added to the glut of singing competition shows.

[From Entertainment Weekly]

My interpretation – and I’m saying this as someone who doesn’t enjoy singing competitions – is that the audience never showed up for The X-Factor because the personalities weren’t strong enough. I mean, Britney Spears was a big name and all, but she was robotic and not very comfortable with the format. Demi Lovato? Blah. The audience needed powerful personalities that they could either get behind or flat-out hate.

Also: so Simon is now spending most of his time in London? That’s what it sounds like, right? What about Lauren Silverman and her plans to live with Simon full-time and all of that? I think Simon bought her an apartment in NYC and now she’ll be his New York lady. But he has London ladies and LA ladies, and on and on.

Anyway, I keep forgetting that this is prime TV-show-cancelling season. I hope Fox doesn’t cut The Mindy Project. Please, DO NOT.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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23 Responses to “Simon Cowell announces ‘return to the UK’ as ‘The X-Factor’ USA gets cancelled”

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  1. Splinter says:

    He looks happy because he is trying to keep up the image of a succesful business shark. He may act like he does not care, but look how much effort he put into all those happy daddy pictures to soften the effect of Laurengate.

  2. Sixer says:

    X Factor UK is still a big show but on a definite downward curve. The dancing show beloved by my mother has beaten it in ratings in the last couple of years and this last season was rather disastrous.

    Perhaps Simon’s return will rescue it. I do hope not.

  3. MrsBPitt says:

    What is with the scarf over a t-shirt??? Anyway, it always pissed me off that Simon left American Idol to do X-factor. You could tell, that he thought Idol would go down the tubes without HIM and that audiences would follow HIM to X-factor…I’m sure, under the smile, is a blow to a ginormous ego!

  4. paola says:

    How many talent shows does the world need? I feel they’re all the same.. X factor, The Voice, American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent.. I am quite against this way of creating artists rising to fame very quickly and as quickly be forgotten by producers and therefore by the audience.
    Some young singers leave school to pursue their dream and after a quick taste of fame and money they’re left with a broken heart and without a job. I don’t think the market is big enough for all of them… Not everyone can be Susan Boyle, Carrie Underwood or Leona Lewis.. that is just the lucky 1%.

    • littlestar says:

      I agree! There were a couple of really talented people on American X Factor, but unfortunately they are no where to be found now :(. It must be so heartbreaking for most of those people once the show is over with. It was like they had a small grasp at what they wanted, but it was fleeting.

      • paola says:

        Luckily my voice is crap, I feel too embarassed for pictures let alone live cameras and I don’t even sing in the shower because I know my dog’s ears might start bleeding.
        I feel blessed that i’ve never had the talent therefore I never wanted to be a singer, so I could concentrate on school and on achieving different things, like a real job. I really don’t envy people in the showbiz, I would never want to be them. Especially the ones who have talent but the market is not ready for them. It has to be not only heartbreaking but also frustrating when you see people like Katy Perry and Miley Cirus being very succesfull with almost zero talent.

    • TheOneandOnlyOnly says:

      In an interview in USA today last year Keith Richards dismissed all these shows essentially by saying he respected people that put in the time on the road, not those that got lucky on some singing talent show. I’ll take Keith Richards opinion over Simon Cowells’.

  5. aquarius64 says:

    Cowell had direct involvement with X Factor and its face. Could its cancellation be due to the press he got for bedding and impregnating his “friend’s” wife?

    • Jayna says:

      Nobody cared about that. The show has struggled from the beginning and just got worse.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        He was VERY worried about how the baby situation would play out in the USA – hence all those vomit-inducing pictures of the happy couple. FOX would not have cancelled a successful show over his baby shenanigans, but I don’t think he did himself any favors with the show already in trouble. Now he is over-exposed, unpopular, AND a business loser. Time for shoebox-head to go home. Too bad for the gold digger, who had Hollywood aspirations! This gives him a great excuse to get away from her.

      • Maureen says:

        I wondered about the baby-mama. Doesn’t she live in the US? Will she go to the UK with him or is that already where she’s from?

  6. smee says:

    Good to see he got a scarf to keep his moobs warm!

  7. Kiddo says:

    It’s time to lay Idol to rest too, in my opinion.

    • MsCatra says:

      Last season I would have agreed wholeheartedly, but this season has been really good so far. The judging panel has really good chemistry and Harry Connick Jr is honest like Simon without (most of the time) being an ass. Not to mention hot. Can’t forget the hot.

  8. Jayna says:

    He’s still got America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, the U.K. X-Factor, and his record label that produces a lot of the singers off of these shows, etc. The guy is still making a fortune.

  9. littlestar says:

    I’ll admit that I watched all three seasons of the American X Factor. It was good in the first season, but got progressively worse in seasons 2 and 3. It was just so overproduced that everything distracted from what the competition was about – singing! And yep, I agree, some of the bigger celebrity judges were a joke (love Britney, but she was too “scared” when it came to judging). Demi Lovato and Simon had great chemistry, but Demi was a terrible judge (how can someone with zero talent herself judge a talent competition anyway?).

    • MsCatra says:

      All of this. Also, I think it’s hard to get into X-Factor with baseball interrupting the schedule. It starts, you’re interested, then the playoff put XF in hiatus and by the time it comes back you don’t care.

  10. Maureen says:

    How come nobody’s talking about his jeans? Come on, we should be talking about those jeans.

  11. Carol says:

    I’ll miss his man-boobs. They were the only thing entertaining about him.

  12. bamster says:

    So sorry to him go! lol

  13. Stef Leppard says:

    Does he have tiny feet?

  14. metallicwow says:

    My take is that Fox decided to cancel X Factor but gave Simon a graceful way out by letting him resign first. I think they all knew it was a sinking ship and it was time to jump off. The singing competition show is a pretty tired format these days.

    On a sidenote, there is nothing about that outfit that says cool or masculine! And the long tattered jeans so he can hide the heels on his shoes. He seems so ridiculous to me. And I still find it really hard to believe he’s a womanizer.