Fox has decided to cancel their reality singing competition series The X Factor after three seasons. Executive producer and judge Simon Cowell announced earlier today that he is going back to serve as a judge on the original UK version of The X Factor, when it returns for its 11th season later this year.
"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!). 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!"
Fox chairman Kevin Reilly released the following statement regarding the cancellation.
"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 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."
The X Factor had posted ratings declines each year it was on the air, with the show averaging 12.7 million viewers for its Wednesday night episodes in 2011. That number dropped to 9.7 million in 2012 and just 7 million last year. This will be the first year since American Idol's first season in 2002 that Simon Cowell will not be on a Fox program.