Simon Cowell’s long-running hit series The X Factor has been cancelled, in its original broadcast territory the U.K., after 17 years. U.K. broadcaster ITV said in a statement, “There are no current plans for the next series of The X Factor at this stage.”
The last true series of the show to air was in 2018 which was followed by a celebrity edition the following year. Ratings of the show in the late noughties were some of the highest across all of British television with the series regularly pulling in more than 10 million viewers (a strong figure for the U.K. marketplace), however, in recent years numbers have begun to decline.
First airing in 2004 the talent show has found numerous acts that have gone on to have success. One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs, Leona Lewis and Rylan Clark-Neal to name a few have carved out strong resumes post appearing on the programme.
The X Factor format was successfully sold to numerous territories around the world with the U.S. having a version between 2011-2013. Judges across the years have included Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Rowland, Louis Walsh, Nicole Scherzinger, Robbie Williams, Rita Ora, Mel B, and Cheryl. Beyoncé even made an appearance in the series 5 finale, singing a duet with contestant Alexandra Burke.
The show will - as it stands - officially end its iconic run with 445 episodes over 15 seasons. The cancellation of the format loosely coincides with several reports of unhealthy behind-the-scenes practices from former Little Mix member Jesy Nelson, Jedward, Cher Lloyd, Misha B, Katie Waissel and Rebecca Ferguson. Claims included sexual assault, mistreatment and bullying.
Cowell has now turned his attention to a new avenue with upcoming game show Walk The Line. Once again the music mogul will lead a panel of judges for ITV with performers each week competing to either win a cash prize or deciding to stay on to the next week to compete again for more money - specifically as the reigning champion.