For so long the dominant reality contest on British television screens, 'The X Factor' could be facing a sensational axe by ITV with newspaper the Daily Star reporting that the broadcaster is on the lookout for another show to replace it. It's hard to tell the reasoning behind it, though one possibility is that the network may not be able to afford to renew the contract for a show that's ratings seem to have peaked in recent series when it runs out next year.
As such, the open call for ideas was apparently made yesterday, with entertainment boss Elaine Bedell admitting that the network was "hungry for a big prime time weekend event show", this coming after the show's boss Simon Cowell admitted the latest series - won by girl group Little Mix - "lacked spark".
"We're not getting enough ideas put forward," said former BBC executive Bedell, adding "The ideas need to have the production values of the X Factor, Britain's Got Talent and I'm A Celebrity and they need a major piece of talent. We get very few pitches for big event shows. They're risky to commission." Insiders say the worry is that ITV have relied for too long on Cowell's shows 'X Factor' and 'Britain's Got Talent', with a source claiming "Every television network is always looking for the next big thing. They'd be crazy not to. X Factor has had a brilliant run, but no show lasts for ever. Over the past few years Simon Cowell has been the main source for many of our top hits but some feel that we've got too many eggs in one basket and we've become too reliant on one man."