With the X Factor UK ratings falling every season, Simon Cowell is looking to revamp the show. There were rumors that X Factor would be cancelled altogether, but a source tells Variety, “The X Factor has not been axed and will be back on ITV later this year,” the insider said.
Simon and the producers are looking to “radically revamp the show.” They are considering eliminating public auditions and introducing celebrity contestants. Variety reports there is chatter of a “Champions segment that would feature winners from different international editions.”
Simon may be feeling a little panicked because ITV and SyCo renewed their deal for X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent for three years in 2016. That means both shows are up for renewal with ITV in 2019. Anything to raise those rating would surely help in those all important negotiations with the network.
Despite last season opening to record low ratings, the X Factor remains one of the most-watched weekend primetime shows in the UK.
ITV programming chief Kevin Lygo seemed to back the show at an industry breakfast last week. “It’s still a really big show for us – the audition shows do really well and then it does tail off a bit during the live shows,” he said. “It’s not as if the producers and Simon aren’t trying everything to keep it refreshed.”
He added that “almost anything you put in there to replace it wouldn’t do as well to start with.”
Simon tends to overcorrect when trying to “fix” his shows. A champion version of the show could bring in folks nostalgic for the halcyon days of X Factor. But a “celebrity” version sounds simply dire. Remember Simon’s frantic attempts to fix X Factor USA as it sputtered on FOX? Please don’t make the show worse, Simon, as you are want to do.