A former hit reality competition series may be getting a second chance. More than nine years after the American version of The X Factor was canceled at Fox after just three seasons, the series may be coming back the U.S. television, with creator and judge Simon Cowell recently revealing that he is in talks with NBC to revive The X Factor.
Cowell made the remarks in a recent interview with The Sun. After first telling the outlet in November that it was “more likely than not” that a U.S. version of The X Factor could come to a network, Cowell told the outlet in late December that following talks with NBC, he has secured a deal with the network to revive the U.S. version of the series. He told the outlet, “I have a saying in life that’s ‘Always go where you’ve got the best invitation’ – and NBC has offered us to make the show here. Which means we’ll make the show here.” NBC has not yet confirmed the news, and sources told Deadline that the deal isn’t done yet. If a deal is reached, it will likely fall under Cowell’s expanded deal with NBCUniversal.
“We found our perfect partner with NBC – honestly, I am not just saying that because they pay me, but they are brilliant. I just really like them, got on well with them and they get a kick out of seeing people succeed on [AGT],” Cowell continued. “So you go where the best navigation is and if I am being honest there is more excitement to make it here than in the UK.”
The original U.S. X Factor debuted on Fox in 2011, seven years after the U.K. version was first launched. The U.S. version, which led to the discovery of pop group Fifth Harmony during Season 2 saw Cowell host alongside Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole, and L.A. Reid, with Nicole Scherzinger, Demi Lovato, Britney Spears, Kelly Rowland, and Paulina Rubio all appearing as guest judges. However, while the U.K. version ran for 15 seasons before concluding in December 2018, the U.S. version only ran for four seasons before Fox ultimately decided not to move forward with a fourth season.
Much of the U.S. The X Factor‘s downfall had to do with the fact that Fox was still airing American Idol, and it was difficult to see what the difference was between the two. Each series aired one installment per season, with The X Factor airing in the fall and Idol in the spring. Since NBC is also home to singing competition The Voice, it seems likely that the network would follow a similar format should The X Factor be revived by the network.