The U.S. installment of The X Factor has been canceled after three seasons on Fox, the network announced Friday after it was revealed that Simon Cowell was heading back to the U.K. version of the franchise.
“I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, 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!),” Cowell said in a statement. “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. … America, I’ll see you soon!”
The X Factor’s U.S. edition struggled ratings-wise throughout its three seasons and went through a slew of on-air changes: Cowell, Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole, and L.A. Reid were originally slated to be the Season 1 judges, but Cole was replaced by intended co-host Nicole Scherzinger before the show debuted and Steve Jones became the solo host. In Season 2, however, Demi Lovato and Britney Spears replaced Abdul and Scherzinger, while Jones was replaced by Khloé Kardashian and Mario Lopez. When Reid and Spears didn’t sign on for the show’s third and now final season, Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio joined Lovato and Cowell on the judging panel in their place. Lopez also became the sole host after Kardashian left the show.
Kevin Reilly, the chairman of entertainment at Fox, released the following statement: “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 U.S. 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.”
Cowell is reportedly headed back to the U.K. to be closer to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, with whom he’s expecting a son in late February.
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