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X-Factor US goes off air as Cowell returns to UK version of show

By | Published on Monday 10 February 2014

The X-Factor

Simon Cowell is returning to ‘X-Factor UK’ because he’s “excited to find a global superstar again”, and not at all because the Syco chief has time on his hands after Fox decided to axe the US version of the talent show after just three series.

Well, maybe. Fox is spinning its decision not to renew the American version of the ‘X’ franchise as being linked to Cowell’s desire to return to ‘X-UK’, but the show has never performed especially well Stateside, and its future there has been in doubt for some time.

Though it’s no secret that ITV has been desperate for Cowell to return to the British version of the show, which – while still one of the most watched programmes on UK TV – has seen its ratings wobble quite a bit since the ‘X’ boss departed the show in favour of its American spin-off.

Confirming ‘X-USA’ was, erm, on hold, Cowell said: “I’ve had a fantastic time over the last twelve years [on US TV], both on ‘The X-Factor’ and ‘American Idol’. 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 UK version of ‘The X-Factor’ in 2014. So for now, I’m back to the UK 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!”

Meanwhile Fox TV’s Kevin 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 twelve 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”.

Meanwhile, over on ITV’s press release in Britain, Cowell could be found declaring: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to ‘The X-Factor UK’. It’s been three years since I last judged the competition and I’m excited to find a global superstar again. The UK ‘X-Factor’ has set the benchmark in finding worldwide superstars over the years – including One Direction, Leona Lewis, Cher Lloyd, Olly Murs, JLS and Little Mix”.

And who doesn’t want another Olly Murs?