Fox was probably hoping it had another “American Idol” on its hands when it put “The X Factor” on the schedule and brought the show’s creator, famed AI judge Simon Cowell, back on the the network. However, the program has not lived up to expectations as a ratings cow, but it certainly has been a cash cow for Cowell.
According to a New York Times blog, the final two programs earned good national audiences, but they were nonetheless still far below expectations. Cowell is said to have promised 20M viewers when the program hit its apogee – however, the final two programs came home with only about 11.1M and 12.4M.
Those results notwithstanding. The wheeling and dealing that resulted in the show expanding from its UK origin into the US resulted in a healthy $42M influx into the Cowell bank account.
RBR-TVBR observation: Fox can join the club which includes in it ranks a large number of major league sports franchises in the US. You can dig deep into the bank account and pay out the big bucks for one big-name superstar, but time and time again one superstar alone is not enough to provide the desired result. However, for the superstar, it’s all gravy.