Cowell rumoured for return to UK, as US X Factor gets second series
The X Factor has secured a second series in the US after the first season was declared a "monumental success", broadcaster Fox announced.
The show's supremo, Simon Cowell, has missed the current series of the show in the UK for the first time by joining the judging panel on the US version, which is ranked as the number one reality show on television.
But his absence seems to have been felt here as the show, with three new judges, has been battling to match the audience levels of last year.
The announcement about a second US series will leave fans wondering whether Cowell will return to the helm of the UK version on ITV.
The X Factor has been lagging behind its Strictly Come Dancing rival in the ratings war over recent weeks.
Noel Gallagher also hit out at the programme recently, declaring it "no good" since the departure of Cowell.
The former Oasis guitarist, who turned down a mentoring role on the programme, said it had worked better with the music supremo as head of the judging panel.
Asked what he thought of the latest series of X Factor, he replied: "No good without Simon Cowell in it."
Louis Walsh has been joined on this year's panel by head judge Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos.
Cowell said of the new series: "I have loved making the show and I want to thank Fox, our sponsors, and most importantly the fans for supporting the X Factor."
The recommission of the show, which pulls in an average of 13 million viewers, is likely to be vindication for Cowell, who took a gamble by quitting the hugely successful US talent show American Idol for the programme.
Mike Darnell, president of alternative entertainment at Fox, said: "The X Factor is a monumental success. It's won every night it's been on the air, the talent is phenomenal, the live shows are spectacular and picking it up is a complete no-brainer.
"Simon and his team have done an incredible job with the show and I'm absolutely thrilled to bring back the X Factor for another fantastic season."