Simon Cowell is returning to the UK in January, for the start of the Britain’s Got Talent judges auditions and while in the country he and his X Factor team will be having a series of crisis talks about the future of the show.
Ratings have fallen drastically over the past two years and ever since Cowell left the ITV show viewers have been tuning out in their millions. Last weekend’s final was the least watched since 2006 and almost ever week the singing show lost the ratings battle to BBC rival Strictly Come Dancing.
Richard Holloway, Executive Producer of the series confirmed that he and Simon will be looking at every area of the show, the format and the air times to see what can be improved, what needs to be changed and what is being scrapped for the 2013 series.
He told The Guardian:
“There is not one element we will not be looking at carefully – from judges and start times to auditions and glitzy productions.”
Richard also revealed that he wants Simon back on the panel next year though he did admit this may prove ‘impossible.’
Holloway believes that one problem facing the show is it’s timeslot. This year the show moved later and later so as to avoid a clash with Strictly but that meant that it became less of a family show and instead parents with children tuned in to BBC, or watched something else altogether.
“This is a bit of a raw nerve,” the TV boss said. “The X Factor is a family show. If I could pick my start time, it would be 7pm on Saturday and Sunday. At the latest we should be off air at 9.30pm. It allows the kids to stay up, and older ones to watch and then go out and drink; 10pm is too late and our larger shows are coming off air at 10.30pm.”
Some insiders have suggested that ITV rest the series and allow people to become nostalgic about the format, before staging a return down the line. However an industry expert has admitted that this is unlikely, as ITV have nothing to replace their big cash cow.
“ITV has to bring The X Factor back: it has nothing else up its sleeve,” they said. “It should have bought The Voice instead of letting the BBC get it.”
“There are conflicting views. There are those who say they just want to hear and see the song, but for the vast majority this is an entertainment extravaganza and we want to make it the best. Sometimes we go too far, but as the show progressed this time we did cut back. It is a singing contest.”
“It’s our 10th anniversary in 2013, and we want it to be amazing.”
Simon is reportedly trying to win Cheryl Cole over and convince her to return to The X Factor for 2013 and if she doesn’t agree, it’s been claimed that Sharon Osbourne is waiting in the wings for a comeback.
What would you like to see on the show next year? How do you think the format can be improved? Leave your comments below…