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Fox Cancels Under-Performing “X Factor”

Fox has pulled the plug on “The X Factor. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that there will be no fourth season of the singing competition. The writing has been on the wall, given the expensive series’ significant ratings declines in the second and third years, but executive producer and star Simon Cowell had been quite vocal about negotiations to keep the show on Fox in some limited capacity. News of X Factor’s cancelation comes the same day that U.K. broadcaster ITV announced that Cowell is returning to the original iteration of the format in fall 2014. The conflict would have kept him from functioning in anywhere near the same capacity on the U.S. spinoff. As NBC has seen a ratings resurgence thanks to “The Voice,”and Fox’s 13-season-old “American Idol” has fallen from its flagship status, The X Factor did nothing to stem reality losses for Fox. The third season saw its performance show average just a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 7 million viewers. The December finale closed the season down a devastating 45 percent from the previous cycle. Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly recently addressed Cowell’s talk of a retooled return — but as of early January, he said there hadn’t been any decision.

“The show underperformed this year,” Reilly told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in January. “Simon himself would admit that. The ratings were not what we hoped, but this is a No. 1 brand around the world … and during that lifecycle, there’s been markets where it’s been down and had some very tough seasons, and they’ve reanimated it with producing changes and different ideas. I’ve heard some of those ideas. They are interesting. If the show were to come back, it would not be in the current format we have.” “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,” Reilly said in a statement. “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.”

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