The last series of the X Factor failed to set the ratings alight, and it looks like the curtain is finally closing on the former Saturday night juggernaut. According to the Daily Mail, Simon Cowell's singing competition might have been axed.
"[ITV] will rest the X Factor for 2017 because there is no way they can run two singing contests and BGT in the same year, they cannot do it," a source told The Daily Mail. "Particularly because the X Factor contract is coming to an end and it has been a disaster."
The insider continued: "If The Voice is a success it's unlikely they will bring back the X Factor but if The Voice is a disaster they have the X Factor."
In November 2015, ITV won the rights to The Voice following a bidding war with the BBC. At the time it was reported that broadcaster was "desperate for a new Saturday night hit" following the "dismal performance" of X Factor. The new deal will mean that ITV Studios will produce the programme from 2017.
Despite a new format, new hosts, a new-look judging panel and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini's promotion to executive producer, Cowell has struggled to revive the ailing talent show and return it to its former glory. Back in August 2015, the singing competition suffered its lowest ratings for a launch show in 10 years, with an average of 7.6 million tuning in. BBC's Strictly Come Dancing continued to trump the show in the ratings war.
In December 2015, it crowned its youngest ever champion, Louisa Johnson. But despite her impressive victory, the teen's winner's single recorded the lowest chart entry for a winner's single to date. The triumphant teenager only managed to shift 39,196 copies of Forcer Young in the first week of sales after making her debut in this week's UK singles chart at number nine. In comparison, Shayne Ward's That's My Goal sold 740,000 copies back in 2005.
Although has been widely reported that bosses hope that resting the show after a torrid year would reignite public interest when it returns, a spokesman for Syco denied the claims.