After The X-Factor tried in vain for three seasons to capture a consistent audience, the executives at Fox have decided not to try a fourth time. The network has announced that Simon Cowell’s answer to American Idol will not return to the lineup this fall, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Because the talent competition had been largely successful in the UK (yielding such popular acts as One Direction), Fox had high hopes that The X-Factor would do well in the States, as well—at the very least counteracting the consistently dropping ratings of juggernaut American Idol. However, the first season yielded disappointing ratings and only began to slump from there, despite a number of format and judge lineup changes that included the likes of Demi Lovato and Britney Spears.
Meanwhile, Cowell, who left American Idol after nine seasons to spearhead the U.S. launch of The X-Factor, has apparently realized where his bread is buttered. The same day the U.S. cancellation of the show was announced, Cowell declared that he would be returning to the judge lineup of The X-Factor UK for the upcoming season.
The show’s underperformance in the U.S. is a matter of speculation, but it could be attributed to a combination of factors—including a glut of similar talent shows already showing in the U.S. year-round, a remnant of fans still loyal to Idol, the rise in popularity of NBC’s The Voice, and overall complaints at some of The X-Factor’s sensationalist tactics deployed to eke out ratings.
In the meantime, Fox continues to hold fiercely to its original juggernaut American Idol, despite its own continual ratings decline over the past several years. The show’s thirteenth season debuted in January to its lowest ratings yet.