‘The X Factor’ canceled: Where did the Fox reality series go wrong?


Simon Cowell is headed back home to the UK, and this has caused the end of the US version of “The X Factor.” Within hours of Cowell announcing his exit from the US series, Fox pulled the plug on “The X Factor” after three seasons on Fox. The series will not return to the network this fall. Why the cancellation? Where did this series go wrong?

It is safe to say that the reality series never caught on with viewers. With three reality competition shows on US television, viewers had to choose which to watch each week. During the fall months, “The Voice” battled “The X Factor” each week, and “The Voice” won. The NBC reality series managed to bring in viewers each and every week. The only area where “The Voice” has failed so far is with creating a super star. “American Idol” has created a number of big names. Even those that did not win the competition each year have gone on and made names for themselves. “The Voice” and “The X Factor” have not yet done that.  Kevin Reilly, the man in charge at Fox, said the following about the decision to cancel the series, according to MTV News:

“There is no ‘X Factor USA’ without Simon Cowell, but we understand and support his decision to focus on the international formats and on the next phase of his personal life. We wish him the very best, and it’s our sincere hope that we work together again soon.”

“American Idol” returned to Fox last month, and early critics even said the changes made to the series this season made the series more “X Factor” like. Why would they need “The X Factor” in the fall then? “American Idol” is trying to find new strength, and Simon Cowell still owns a part of that reality show. With both shows on Fox, they will likely continue to bring each other down. “Idol” is trying to revamp itself after a horrible season 12. The competition last season was more about the judges and their fighting than the singing competition on stage. Candice Glover even waited seven months to release her album to distance herself from the competition. Her album will arrive in stores this month.

“The Voice” has not made a big name, but the big names on the judging panel have made the viewers tune in. The series even survived a two season format each year. A new season will return to NBC after the Sochi Olympics wrap. Shakira and Usher will return to the judging panel for their second turns as mentors. Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are set to appear again. They have remained on the panel since the beginning. Viewers love watching the competition, but they aren’t supporting the artists once the cameras stop rolling.

“American Idol” is a known star maker, but it is safe to say their last big star was Adam Lambert, and he didn’t even win his season. The singers that followed his season didn’t make as big a mark after their time on the reality series ended. Scotty McCreery has managed to find some success in the country music area, but he hasn’t even made a huge splash. Candice Glover is hoping that changes with the release of her record, but she has a battle to fight with the backlash season 12 received.

Fox tried to go up against “The Voice” with back to back seasons of “American Idol” and “The X Factor” and failed. Reality television does not live on Fox. The network even pulled “So You Think You Can Dance” back to just one night, and that series aired during the summer months. If Fox wants to have another reality series to air during the fall, move “So You Think You Can Dance” to the fall and bring back the two night format. If Fox doesn’t want to do that, then create a fall season of “American Idol” with a different panel of judges.

Likely, Fox won’t add another reality series to its line-up for fall. The network has the World Series airing during October, and that has always made scheduling tricky during the fall months. “The X Factor” needing to air weekly made scheduling even trickier. “The X Factor” is not gone from world television screens, but the series has been buried in the US.

What do you think? Why did “The X Factor” fail?

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