X Factor 2014: ITV abandons Friday episodes after ratings flops

Simon Cowell promo

ITV bosses have apparently decided against airing more Friday night episodes of The X Factor in the future after they failed to bring in the punters.

For the recent Boot Camp and Judges' Houses stages of the talent contest, the broadcaster decided to air it three nights a week - on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

According to The Sun, head honcho Simon Cowell had high hopes for the extra editions, as the semi-finals of his other show Britain's Got Talent - which air stripped across weekdays - tend to attract big audiences.

However, the first X Factor Friday saw it go head-to-head with the first Strictly Come Dancing live show - and it was accordingly thrashed in the ratings, attracting just 5.85million viewers (including those who tuned in on ITV+1).

Last Friday there was no competition from its arch rival - but it still only drew 6.34million viewers, far less than the numbers achieved by the weekend episodes.

Chiefs now seem to have conceded that the three-day weeks were a massive flop, dubbing them a "failed experiment".

An X Factor insider told the newspaper: "Running the show on a Friday night was always a big gamble. We have a young audience, who would tend to be out on a Friday night, so it just didn’t work.

"Our viewing figures for that time slot are very low indeed. We’re pretty happy with the other nights, particularly Sunday, so in future we’ll stick to that format."

They added: "Getting through three nights of X Factor is heavy going for even our biggest fans. It’s been a failed experiment. We won’t be doing it again."

It's The X Factor's turn to go live this Saturday, when the top twelve acts will perform direct to the nation for the first time - and the identities of the 'wildcard' contestants will be revealed'.

Check out pictures of the X Factor 2014 finalists below:

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