Simon Cowell’s ‘The X Factor’ Canceled After 17 Years, ITV Confirms

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Simon Cowell’s popular talent show “The X Factor” has been canceled after 17 years, U.K. broadcaster ITV has confirmed.

“There are no current plans for the next series of ‘The X Factor’ at this stage,” an ITV spokesperson said in a statement shared with Variety.

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Created by Cowell, “The X Factor” began airing in 2004 and 445 episodes have aired over 15 series, with the last one being in 2018. The show was produced by Fremantle’s Thames and Cowell’s production company Syco Entertainment.

Cowell’s next venture will be musical quiz show “Walk The Line” for ITV and VOD platform ITV Hub.

The format sees musical acts take to the stage to perform, as well as a panel of judges headed up by Cowell. The top two performers of the evening then face a decision in their bid to be crowned champion — to either go home with a cash prize, or walk the line and play on. Should they stay in and top the leaderboard, they will then progress to the next show, facing a different cast of performers. The longer the performers can stay in the contest, the bigger the prize pot, with a high stake ‘stay or play’ moment at the end of each show. Each night, the reigning champion will be offered an even higher cash-out prize.

The format is co-produced and co-developed by Syco Entertainment and Lifted Entertainment, part of ITV Studios, and the team behind ITV hits including “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” and “Love Island.”

Last February (before the pandemic led to nationwide lockdowns in the U.K.), it was announced the show would be taking a break for 2020 but was slated to return for 2021.

However, just months later, ITV plc managing director Kevin Lygo told the virtual Edinburgh TV Festival there was no guarantee “The X Factor” would ever return to the small screen. “It’s not definitely returning, it might return, and if it does the format will tweak,” he said. “Simon controls it more than we do. When does he want it to come back, how does he want to come back? Hopefully we can be part of it.”

The talent show has been the crown jewel in Cowell’s entertainment empire for decades. As well as selling the format around the world, it has broken the careers of dozens of artists including One Direction, Little Mix, Leona Lewis and Olly Murs.

The Sun was the first to break the news the show had been cancelled.

More to come.

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