Creator Simon Cowell will lead the judging panel when the UK singing competition show returns to ITV for its 11th cycle later this year, the network confirmed today after weeks of speculation. It will be his first season back on the flagship The X Factor after spending the last three years getting the U.S. version up and running on Fox while the ratings for the U.K. original have been going down. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to The X Factor UK,” said Cowell, whose Syco banner co-produces that show with FremantleMedia UK. “It’s been three years since I last judged the competition and I’m excited to find a global superstar again.” Cowell’s return of course raises further questions about the future of the U.S. version of the show as the two run concurrently. Fox has not yet renewed X Factor here after dismal ratings for the recent third cycle. Despite Cowell’s announcement last month that X Factor will be returning for fourth season, Fox boss Kevin Reilly said during TCA that no decision has been made — though he hinted the show will continue in some form. “The show definitely underperformed this year, ratings are not what we wanted, but X Factor still is one of the most successful brands in the world, and the No. 1 and No. 2 show in many markets.”
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