"The X Factor" U.K. is coming to American television on AXS TV, which will televise new episodes of the show on Sundays and Mondays, starting Aug. 31, 2014, at 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT, 24 hours after the respective U.K broadcasts. Each episode will re-air the same night after the first broadcast. The announcement was made on Aug. 6, 2014. AXS TV is owned by Anschutz Entertainment Group (which also owns Examiner.com), AXS TV LLC, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency and CBS.
"The X Factor" U.K. (which launched in 2004 on ITV, a U.K. TV network) is co-produced by Thames TV (part of FremantleMedia U.K.) and Syco Entertainment. In 2014, AXS TV will televise all 34 episodes of the show's 11th season. The judges on Season 11 of "The X Factor" U.K. are Simon Cowell (who created the show and is one of its executive producers), Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (also known as Cheryl Cole), Mel B (also known as Scary Spice of the Spice Girls) and Louis Walsh, a longtime music manager. "The X Factor" U.K. is hosted by Dermot O'Leary, who has been hosting the show since 2007.
Cowell was a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. from 2004 to 2010. He then left the show's judging panel to be a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. from 2011 to 2013. The same day that it was announced that "The X Factor" U.S. was cancelled, Cowell announced that he was returning to the judging panel on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2014.
Fernandez-Versini, a former member of the singing group Girls Aloud, was a judge on "The X Factor" U.K. from 2008 to 2010. She then left the show's judging panel to be a judge on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2011, but she was notoriously fired after just a few weeks on the job. She and Cowell have both publicly said that she was fired because Cowell wanted her back on "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel, but she refused the offer. For years after her firing, she said she would never go back to being a judge on "The X Factor," but obviously she changed her mind.
Mel B (whose real name is Melanie Brown) joined "The X Factor" U.K. judging panel in 2014. She was a guest judge on the show in 2012. In addition, she has been a judge on "America's Got Talent" since 2013 and a coach on "The Voice Kids" Australia since 2014. Mel B was a judge on "The X Factor" Australia in 2011 and 2012. In addition, she co-hosted "Dancing With the Stars" Australia in 2012, and she was a second-place contestant on the American version of "Dancing With the Stars" in 2007.
Walsh's former clients include Westlife, Boyzone, Girls Aloud, Shayne Ward and Samantha Mumba. He currently manages the pop duo Jedward, identical twin brothers who came in sixth place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2009.
In a press release several executives commented on "The X Factor" U.K. arriving on American television.
AXS TV founder Mark Cuban said, “'The X Factor' U.K. is a perfect addition to the AXS TV lineup, as we continue to showcase the best music programming on television. The level of talent that the series has produced is unprecedented, and to have Simon Cowell back as a judge, I’m confident that our audience will embrace these new stars wholeheartedly. I’m proud that AXS TV has the opportunity to be at the forefront of this popular music franchise to showcase talented vocalists.”
FremantleMedia International senior VP of international distribution, Latin America and U.S/ Hispanic Sheila Aguirre added: “'The X Factor' U.K. has been one of the most successful entertainment shows in the U.K. for over a decade. Each season, the series continues to pull in the big audiences and creates an incredible buzz. With the return of Simon Cowell, season 11 is primed to be one of the best seasons yet! We look forward to working with AXS TV to bring this staple of the U.K.’s autumn schedule to the U.S.”
Syco Entertainment head of international George Levendis stated, "'The X Factor' U.K. is our flagship production and the world leader in entertainment formats. The show’s production values are unmatched and it has created enormous buzz across the U.S. social media over the last few years. This is the first time we are bringing the U.K series to a US broadcaster. We are excited that fans of 'The X Factor' will be able to follow the development of these future stars on AXS TV.”
As previously reported, "The X Factor" U.K. signed a deal in 2014 for new episodes to be televised in several Asian countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia.
"The X Factor" U.K.'s ratings have been on a steady decline since 2011, the first year that Cowell was not part of the judging panel. BBC rival "Strictly Come Dancing" has surpassed "The X Factor" U.K. in the ratings. It remains to be seen if Cowell's return to the show in 2014 will boost the show's ratings enough for it to trounce "Strictly Come Dancing." Despite the ratings decline, "The X Factor" remains one of ITV's highest-rated entertainment programs (attracting up to 11.2 million U.K. viewers in 2013, according to ITV), and the network has renewed the show for it to be on the air for the next few years.
"The X Factor" contestant alumni who have had the most worldwide success have come from the "The X Factor" U.K., including One Direction, Leona Lewis, Olly Murs and Little Mix. All of the winners of the show so far have debuted at No. 1 in the U.K. with their respective first singles.