Producer Simon Cowell poses at the "America's Got Talent" Press Conference announcing a second season of the hit summer show at NBC Studios on September 25, 2006 in Burbank, California.
Groups and singers as young as 12 years can audition for the series, which will premiere in the fall. Unlike ``American Idol,'' ``The X Factor'' does not have an upper age limit.
``I like the idea that a 12-year-old on this show can compete with an older singer and a singing group,'' said Simon Cowell, the former ``American Idol'' who will be a judge and an executive producer on ``The X Factor.''
``I've never believed there should be a cut-off age for talent.''
Fox also announced today the series winner will receive a $5 million record deal, the largest guaranteed prize in television history, from Syco, a join venture between Sony Music and Cowell.
``We are going to put our money where our mouths are with the $5 million recording contract,'' Cowell said. ``I'm doing this show in America because I genuinely believe we can find a superstar.''
Additional audition information is available at www.fox.com/theXfactor. Auditions are also planned for Chicago, Dallas, the New York-New Jersey area and Seattle.
``The X Factor'' has annually been the most-watched series in the United Kingdom since it debuted in 2004. It is also the most-watched series in the
15 other nations it airs in.
```The X Factor' has become a worldwide phenomenon and is unlike anything we've seen in America,'' said Mike Darnell, Fox Broadcasting's president of alternative entertainment.
``The British version is wildly entertaining, but also has a penchant for stirring up controversy. You never know what Simon has up his sleeve and since he will be working from both behind and in front of the camera, the country should brace itself to expect the unexpected.''