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US X Factor axed as Cowell returns to UK show

XFactor-UK-26.01US broadcast network Fox has cancelled The X Factor after three seasons and the format’s creator and judge Simon Cowell is returning to the UK to shore up the original version of the talent show.

Fox last week cited poor ratings for its version of the format as a key reason for its underperformance.

The show is made by Syco and FremantleMedia North America.

FremantleMedia noted that the US X Factor had dominated social media charts. However, its recent ratings were disappointing. The finale to the first season won over 12 million viewers but the culmination to season three won just 6.2 million. Season three averaged about six million viewers, putting it behind American Idol, also on Fox, and The Voice on NBC.

S_CowellCowell (pictured) said: “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!”

“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,” said the network’s chief Kevin Reilly.

“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.”

The latter part of Reilly’s statement is thought to have reffered to Cowell’s upcoming first child, which is due to be born in the UK this year.

Meanwhile, the long term future of American Idol is unclear after the axe fell on The X Factor. Fox said last week that Idol “will deliver results below our targets”.

Internationally, FremantleMedia has got local versions of The X Factor away in 45 countries.