‘X Factor’ and Simon Cowell Xed by Fox

LOS ANGELES — Not so long ago, Simon Cowell was probably the most powerful man on American TV.

His cranky, caustic judging had helped make “American Idol” an invincible No. 1 hit.

As a producer, he makes “America’s Got Talent” and similar shows top sellers around the world.

He ranked No. 17 on Forbes’ 2013 Celebrity 100 list, and predicted that his own “The X Factor” on Fox would hammer “Idol,” the singing contest he left.

And now? The hanging judge has fled the stage like a bad karaoke singer.

Earlier this month Fox abruptly canceled “X Factor” after three troubled seasons and the 54-year-old Cowell has returned to his native country to appear on the original British version, which is also flagging.

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