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Future of Fox’s ‘X Factor’ Unclear as Season 3 Finale Approaches

While Simon Cowell claims show will return for a fourth season, no deals are in place yet at Fox

As “The X Factor” approaches its season three finale, rumors have begun swirling this week over the future of the Fox singing competition show.

Show creator and judge Simon Cowell told journos during a conference call Monday that “X Factor” “will be back next season,” though he may have “a different role” on the program.

Sources confirmed to Variety, however, that no deals are in place for an “X Factor” renewal at this point.

In addition to Cowell’s revelation that he may take on a new role on “X Factor,” word spread today via a People Magazine report that judge Demi Lovato will exit the series after serving as judge for two seasons. Lovato, according to People’s sources, wants to fully focus on her music career. Should Lovato officially ankle the series, she will be the fifth judge to do so in the program’s three-season run, following the departure of Britney Spears and L.A. Reid, among others.

Fox declined comment on both the future of Cowell and Lovato on the show, and on “X Factor’s” renewal status.

Heading into its finale, the performance episodes of “The X Factor” this fall have averaged a 2.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 6.9 million viewers overall — down more than 30% from last year (3.5 in the demo, 9.4 million). A year ago, “X Factor” was higher-rated in 18-49 than fellow unscripted broadcast series “Survivor,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Amazing Race” and “Shark Tank.” But this season, it will finish (a bit) behind all four of them. “The Voice” is the highest ranking reality show on the Big Four in adults 18-49.

As mentioned in a previous piece, “X Factor” continues to be a hit format overseas, but has fallen through the cracks in the States, likely due to a revolving door of judges and similarities between the show and sibling Fox program “American Idol.”

“The X Factor’s” season finale will air tomorrow night.

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