cancels 'X Factor' as Simon Cowell returns to UK version
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[February 08, 2014]
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — U.S. television
singing contest "The X Factor," led by judge and show creator Simon
Cowell, was canceled on Friday after three seasons, network Fox said
"The X Factor," which was unable to replicate the ratings
success of fellow Fox singing contest "American Idol," was only
able to muster 6.2 million viewers for its season three finale
last December, about half of its first season finale audience.
Cowell, 54, whose acerbic on-screen personality helped transform
"American Idol" into one of the top shows on U.S. television,
will also return to the UK version of the show in an effort to
help declining ratings there.
"I've had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on 'The
X Factor' and 'American Idol,' Cowell said 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!)"
"The X Factor" was seen as a way for Cowell to put his own stamp
on U.S. reality television as it was a show he created and
produced, and helped lead it to popularity in Britain.
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The U.S. version of the show struggled to find the right mix on
the judging panel, running through nine different personalities
in its three seasons on the air.
In 2012, Fox spent a reported $15 million to hire
pop singer Britney Spears as a judge on the show in a bid to boost
ratings, but she was unable to turn her star power into larger
audiences for Fox.
Last year, viewership fill to about 6 million per episode from 9
million in 2012. Its main rival, Comcast Corp-owned NBC's "The
Voice" drew about 12 million viewers per episode.
Cowell, a British media and music mogul best known for the biting
criticism of contestants that helped draw viewers to "American
Idol," will be without a show on U.S. television for the first time
since "Idol" began in 2002.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by
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