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Mipcom: Simon Cowell Vows to Bring ‘X Factor’ Back to the U.S.

CANNES– Mipcom’s Personality of the Year Simon Cowell delivered a colorful and upbeat keynote at the Cannes confab’s jam-packed auditorium.

Interviewed by his pal Piers Morgan, Cowell, who was dressed with his trademark white shirt, confirmed he planned to bring “X Factor” back to the U.S..

“I believe that I and Fox gave up too early on ‘X Factor,'” said Cowell of the show that was canceled after three seasons. “I do know because I’m the music business that ‘X Factor’ is the best music format in the world and it only takes one artist, a Susan Boyle, or a One Direction for the whole thing to turns on its head. So I’ll be the one to bring ‘X Factor’ back to America.”

Reflecting on the underwhelming performance of “X Factor” in the States, Cowell admitted his expectations were too high. “I think the first year we made a really good series but I said it would get 20 million people and we got 12 million. If I hadn’t opened my big mouth it would have been perceived as a hit. I thought we could achieve in one year what we achieved in 10 years in the U.K.”

Cowell also said the fact the U.S. launch of ‘The Voice” – which included the mentorship element — right before “X Factor” was also a setback.

The multi-hyphenate talked about his endeavor to expand further into feature films kicking off with an animated feature based on the Betty Boop franchise, among other two animated projects.

“We’re moving slowly (in film) and with the same thinking that applies to what we do with TV. You have to find the best in their field,” said Cowell. “So when we decided to go into animation we partnered up with Animal Logic Entertainment because they had done the animation on “The Lego Movie.” They weren’t too big but they were the best in the business so we created a partnership with them.”

Added Cowell, “We’ll look at other vehicles basically designed to be successful as films but also designed to sell music — there are so many of these shows now with so many artists on that I look at something like ‘High School Musical’ and think maybe that’s the route to go now.”

Cowell also looked back on his early days in the biz. “I consider myself very lucky because I was here at Midem, the music equivalent to Mipcom 30 years ago, when I was trying to run a company and I literally didn’t sell anything during the week. I went back home pretty depressed so the fact that I’m here today talking about some of the things I’ve achieved, I feel incredibly happy. It is work but it’s also passion.”

Morgan pointed out to a world map showing that the “Britain’s Got Talent” format that Cowell also spearheaded has now been adapted in 186 countries, including for NBC in U.S. on which Morgan served as a judge. Morgan joked about the fact that the only two regions where the format hasn’t been picked up were Mongolia and half of  Papua New Guinea.

” ‘Mongolia’s Got Talent,’ it’s a no brainer,” quipped Cowell, sparking thunders of laugher from the crowd.








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