Cowell recently signed a five-year deal with ITV for Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor, with the plan being to broadcast a final season of the latter in 2020. But Cowell and ITV are now keen to rest the show until 2021.
A source said: “Simon is planning to rest The X Factor this year. He and the producers want to take a breath to really think through the show and how to reinvigorate it for the future. And they don’t believe they can do that if they go straight into another cycle of the show this year.”
They experimented with the format last year, launching X Factor: Celebrity and X Factor: The Band, but both shows failed to reignite the brand and turn around its falling ratings.
The X Factor, produced by Cowell’s production outfit Syco Entertainment and Fremantle’s Thames Television, has been a fixture on British television for 16 years. It pulled in giant audiences of up to 18M people in its prime and launched the careers of stars including One Direction and Rebecca Ferguson.
A spokesman for the show said: “Plans for this autumn are still being finalized and will be announced in due course. We are currently filming Britain’s Got Talent 2020.”
The decision to rest The X Factor was first reported by British newspaper The Sun.