Saturday, April 20, 2024

Fox Cancels “The X Factor,” Says “American Idol” Is “Winding Down”


Our long national suffering is over. Fox has cancelled “TheĀ  X Factor.” Simon Cowell is going back to England to host the show there. With Cowell long off “American Idol,” that leaves Cowell with no on-air work in the United States. For the first time in recent memory, America will be without the caustic observations of the British opinion maker. What shall we do?

At the same time, “American Idol” is quote– “winding down.” Those were the words of Chase Carey, head of Fox TV on conference call with Wall Street analysts Thursday. Carey conceded the show is coming to an end, although he didn’t say this would be the last season.

“It’s not a show that drives the whole network as it did in years passed. The show is 13 years old. We hope to have years 14, 15, 16, 17. But it won’t be like seasons 5, 6, and 7. We know it’s coming to an end. It’s a great show. The ratings fell faster for American Idol and X Factor than we hoped. It’s winding down to where it’s just a great, successful show.”

That was yesterday. Today, Fox cancelled “X Factor.”

This week “Idol” took a pounding on Thursday night from the Olympics. But the show has seen some uptick from new judge Harry Connick, Jr, the return of Jennifer Lopez, and the ever popular Keith Urban. Can they save it? From what Carey indicated, it’s not likely.

But the cancellation of “X Factor” indicates that Fox is ready to call it a day for their competition shows. The genre is pretty much saturated. Plus NBC’s “The Voice” continues to squash Fox’s shows. For Cowell, there’s still “America’s Got Talent.” Some think he may turn up there, with Howard Stern and friends.

It’s all about money, in the end. Profits for 21st Century Fox, the new company separated from News Corp, fell 49% this quarter. Carey pointed out that TV advertising revenues have dropped because of low ratings for “American Idol” and “X Factor.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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