The X Factor is a British reality television music competition to find new singing talent, contested by aspiring singers drawn from public auditions. Created by Simon Cowell, the show began in 2004 and has since aired annually from August/September until December. The show is produced by FremantleMedia's Thames (previously Talkback Thames) and Cowell's production company Syco TV. It is broadcast on the ITV network in the UK and simulcast on TV3 in Ireland. The "X Factor" refers to the undefinable "something" that makes for star quality. The series consists of auditions, bootcamp, judges' houses, several weeks of live shows, semi-finals and the final. The series had a spin-off behind-the-scenes show called The Xtra Factor, which aired directly after the main show on ITV2. This lasted from series 1 until series 13 when it was cancelled by ITV in January 2017.