11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
AXS TV Brings Simon Cowell's 'X Factor U.K' to U.S.
Simon Cowell is coming back to U.S. TV — and reuniting with Ryan Seacrest.
AXS TV, the music-focused network created by Mark Cuban and Seacrest, has inked an agreement with FremantleMedia International and Cowell's Syco Entertainment and Thames TV to broadcast season 11 of The X Factor U.K., The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Under the deal, AXS TV will broadcast episodes of the singing competition series featuring judges Cowell, Mel B, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and music manager Louis Walsh. Dermot O'Leary serves as host. The pact marks the first time the U.K. incarnation of the X Factor has aired stateside. Season 11 marks Cowell's return to the judge's bench for the first time in three years.
AXS TV will broadcast the 34-episode series starting on Sunday, Aug. 31 — a day after the series debuts in the U.K. on ITV. Episodes will air on Sundays and Mondays at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET and re-air the same night after the initial broadcast on AXS TV.
"The X Factor U.K. is our flagship production and the world leader in entertainment formats," says George Levendis, head of international at Syco Entertainment. "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 U.S. broadcaster. We are excited that fans of The X Factor will be able to follow the development of these future stars on AXS TV."
During its run, X Factor U.K. has produced mega-stars including One Direction, Leona Lewis, Olly Murs and Cher Lloyd, among others. To date, every X Factor U.K. winner has scored a No. 1 single on the U.K. music charts. The format is now produced in 48 territories.
The series becomes the latest singing competition to join the U.S. primetime lineup that already features NBC's The Voice and Fox's sagging American Idol, among others. ABC joined the fray this summer with Rising Star, which thus far has underperformed.