“I’ve had a fantastic time over the last 12 years, both on ‘The X Factor’ and ‘American Idol,'” Cowell said in a statement after Fox announced the news on Friday. “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!)”
For the show’s season three finale in December, The X Factor drew only 6.2 million viewers, which was about half the size of the audience that tuned in for the first season’s finale. The $15 million that Fox reportedly spent to hire Britney Spears as a judge in 2012 failed to attract a larger audience against rivals like NBC’s The Voice. The show has featured nine different judges through its three seasons, and recently saw the departure of Demi Lovato from the panel.
“The thing about these shows over the years is they started off as one-hour shows and now it’s two hours or two and a half hours and then an hour show the next day. That’s like watching a movie,” Cowell said in December, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s getting to be probably too much. When the shows are popular, the networks want to make them longer, and that’s not necessarily a good thing.”