ITV1 bosses are reportedly hoping that the new X Factor judges don't 'screw up' the programme after other shows flopped in the ratings. According to The Sun, TV execs are praying that the new panel will help The X Factor keep its huge audience of around 15 million viewers.
It comes after ITV1 suffered its worst viewing figures in its 56-year history, with an average of just 800,000 viewers tuning on Sunday, only 200,000 more than Channel 4. Even Channel 5 managed to average 500,000 viewers over the weekend.
With The X Factor becoming ITV1's biggest hit, all hopes are on the new look panel - made up of judges Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Kelly Rowland - not to muck it up.
A source told the newspaper: "The ratings are a disaster. Yes, it's holiday season and the big reality shows aren't on but less than a million for the day is terrible.
"If the new judges screw this up, it'll cause unthinkable problems for ITV.
"The channel was putting on a brave face when Simon said he wasn't going to be doing the show.
"But they know figures will dip, the question is by how much."
A source said previously that there were "real fears" about the ratings with the new look panel: "There will be three newbies plus Louis Walsh and there are real fears over what impact that could have on the ratings.
“Last year, viewers voted Dannii Minogue as their favourite judge. The older audience took to her. Without Dannii or Cheryl, Simon knows he’s got a really tough sell on his hands. Not many people over 30 are into N-Dubz or Kelly Rowland’s R&B.”
ITV1's summer has been tough going, with new shows such as Born to Shine, The Marriage Ref and Show Me The Funny all becoming primetime flops.
A spokesperson for the channel said: "The summer months often see lower viewing levels across all channels."