Fox has decided it won’t renew its struggling talent competition, “The X Factor.” The decision was made after UK’s ITV announced Simon Cowell is returning to judge the British “X Factor,” which he left back in 2010. “I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on ‘The X Factor and ‘American Idol.’ And apart from being lucky enough to find some amazing talent on the shows, I have always had an incredible welcome from the American public (most of the time!),” said Simon Cowell in a statement. “Last year, for a number of reasons, I had to make a decision to return to the U.K. version of ‘The X Factor’ in 2014,” he said. “So for now, I’m back to the U.K. and I want to thank FOX for being an incredible partner and I also want to thank everybody who has supported my shows. America, I’ll see you soon!”
That could have been the move that forced Fox’s hand, but the network had very little reason to continue with the series. Averaging about 12 million viewers for Season 1, the third season, which wrapped in December, averaged 6.5 million viewers. On Thursday, 21st Century Fox chief operating officer, Chase Carey, told analysts that “X Factor’s” ratings “fell faster than we’d hoped.” But, Carey said that the network is actively searching for its next ratings juggernaut. “We’re going to try to find and build that next hit franchise … we expect to be aggressive,” Carey said.