The agreement gives Britain’s biggest commercial broadcaster Syco’s shows for the next half-decade, including “Britain’s Got Talent,” which will be on ITV until 2024. The deal also covers “The X Factor,” which ITV said would return in 2020. The network offered no visibility beyond that for the music talent show.
The U.K. news will be a boost for Cowell after the U.S. edition of “Got Talent” became embroiled in controversy following Gabrielle Union’s exit from the show. Union said she was fired after complaining about a hostile environment on the set. NBC is investigating amid other complaints of a toxic culture on set.
Of the U.K. deal, Cowell said: “I am thrilled our relationship with ITV is to continue for the foreseeable future. ITV has always been home to ‘Britain’s Got Talent,’ ‘The X Factor’ – and me! – and this long-term commitment shows the mutual respect in our partnership.”
The five year deal with Syco is longer than the three year agreements that have been inked previously.
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s director of television, said Cowell’s “track record speaks for itself.” He added: “He creates shows that bring the nation together, celebrating the talent and diversity of modern Britain and giving ordinary people with extraordinary talent the chance to find fame.”
Fremantle’s U.K. production outfit Thames co-produces the Cowell shows and will continue to do so. Fremantle sells the shows and the underlying formats internationally.