Simon Cowell Preps ‘The X Factor: The Band’; ITV Talent Format Comes Ahead Of Little Mix-Fronted BBC Rival

Simon Cowell
Courtesy of NBC

Simon Cowell is preparing a new version of The X Factor featuring bands to rival a BBC format starring British pop stars Little Mix.

The music impresario is set to launch The X Factor: The Band, a spin-off of the long-running ITV series that will aim to search for all-male and all-female groups. The series will be produced by Fremantle’s Talkback and will air later this year, replacing a proposed “all-star” spin-off of The X Factor that was set to feature previous winners.

The series, which launches in December, comes ahead of the BBC’s Little Mix: The Search, which is set to air early next year. The seven-part series will star Little Mix, which includes Perrie Edwards, Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, to create bands and becoming mentors to a new wave of talent.

Little Mix: The Search is produced by ModestTV, the nascent production company set up by Little Mix’s management company.

Cowell previously worked with Little Mix, who won The X Factor. Cowell told British tabloid The Sun that he had been approached to co-produce Little Mix: The Search but had “fallen out” with the group and their management.

“I told them the problem was we have a conflict of interest because we are launching The X Factor: The Band in 2020. We were told their show was going to launch in 2021,” he said. “Regardless, it was too much fun not to do this year. I would rather it was us doing it first. It 100% makes it more exciting there being a battle.”

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