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December 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Simon Cowell is facing a series of crisis meetings concerning the underperformance of his The X Factor in both the U.S. and the U.K. Last Thursday’s episode on Fox attracted 7.66 million viewers. It had been down to as low as 6.24 million last month. In 2011, it had averaged 12 million viewers. (Several critics have blamed the addition of Khloe Kardashian as a co-host for the ratings plunge.) Prior to the launch of the talent contest last year, Cowell, who produces the show as well as heading up the judging panel, had remarked that he would regard any audience of fewer than 20 million as a disappointment. The show is also in trouble in the U.K., where ratings have also been in free-fall since Cowell departed the judging panel there to focus on the U.S. version. Last week, the audience dipped to its lowest level since 2006. But consider this: that episode of the British X Factor drew 11 million viewers — 44 percent more viewers than last week’s episode in the U.S. — in a country whose population is 20 percent the size of the U.S. Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported today (Monday) that Cowell plans to return to London next month for a “crisis summit” with Richard Holloway, the executive producer of the British version. “There is not one element we will not be looking at carefully,” Holloway told the newspaper, “from judges and start times to auditions and glitzy productions.” Holloway indicated that he plans to ask Cowell to return to the show as a judge. “He’s the best judge in the world,” he said. “If we can find a way to reintroduce him, we will. But it is impossible for him to be in two places.”