Fox: 'The X Factor' may not return for a fourth season, will have new format if it does
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/13/2014
Fox has acknowledged The X Factor may not return for a fourth season.
Kevin Reilly, the network's Chairman of Entertainment, said The X Factor "underperformed" in its recently-concluded third season and so the show's future is in question, The Wrapreported.
While speaking at Monday's Television Critics Association winter press tour, Reilly reportedly explained, "The ratings were not what we hoped, but this is a No. 1 brand around the world."
"If the show were to come back, it would not be in the current format we have, but the fact is we've made no decision on it. I haven't even really engaged [creator and judge Simon Cowell] on it, other than some general talk."
Reilly reportedly suggested a revamped show and "different ideas" in production could make all the difference in a show's success, as he's seen it happen before in other markets.
"We're going to blow through our option date sometime this week, and we'll make that decision over the next month," Reilly added, according to The Wrap.
In fact, one of the changes might be Cowell's involvement in the series. He's sat on the judging panel for three seasons now, but even he told reporters during a recent conference call he may have "a different kind of role" next season.
"We're going to have a very, very crowded marketplace. What we have with The X Factor is a huge, core fan base that loves the show, but we've got to be more different next year than we were this year," Cowell said in December, adding that one possibility may be to condense the show into a one-night per week format similar to that of Dancing with the Stars' recent fall season.
"So we're in the middle of a presentation to Fox to say, 'This is what we think the show should look like, this is what we think the fans will like.' And yes, my role could change on that show, but I can't say any more than that."
However, Reilly clarified that although Cowell may not serve as a judge, he's not going anywhere.
"It's his format, it's his creation," Reilly said. "I don't ever count out Simon Cowell on anything."
Cowell had also previously pointed outThe X Factor produces marketable, successful stars, which other reality singing competitions have often failed to do. Despite the low ratings, Cowell noted that's what sets his show apart.
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While Reilly seems unsure of The X Factor's fate, Cowell told reporters last month he thinks its chances of coming back to Fox are "good."