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Fox To Order More American Idol Amid Rumors of Simon Cowell’s Departure



rl_simonTo Fox, it doesn’t matter if Simon Cowell is back for another season of American Idol.  The network will order more episodes of America’s most watched show. Fox’s contract with Idol producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia will expire at the end of 2011 and the network is hoping to seal another deal soon for another three seasons after that.

A thinning talent pool is the last thing on Fox executive’s minds since the show may be facing its biggest problem yet: no Simon Cowell. “The idea that for the next five years, I’d be doing exactly what I’ve been doing for the past five years, . . . . the thought is just too depressing,” Cowell told The Hollywood Reporter in late April. Rumors have been spreading like a wildfire over the possibility that Cowell will leave American Idol at the end of 2010, per Simon’s brother Tony via his podcast . This, along with a proposed U.S. entry of the U.K.’s  X-Factor, may cause problems for ratings of the longtime television program.

Talk of a stateside X-Factor may be premature, as Cowell still needs to sign his new contract with X-Factor’s owner Sony. Post-contract, Sony is believed to allow Cowell the opportunity to bring the show to the States even though American Idol is seen as the U.S. version of the U.K. hit.

Fox would like to have a “bundle” agreement with Cowell that will lock up the judge for not only American Idol but X-Factor as well. Yet, leaving Idol may create a bigger event for Cowell’s X-Factor though one compromise may still exist: Cowell taking a smaller role on Idol. He may only judge during the Hollywood rounds, not the lame and increasingly annoying auditions.

Thanks to delays on the Sony deal, Fox’s plan to debut  X-Factor next fall have been squashed. Fox’s new plan has the show making its premiere in 2011.

Don’t think that all Idol fans actually want the English curmudgeon to stay on the show. Many fans have said that Cowell “has been phoning it in for years.”

During one of Allison Iraheta’s performances last season, Cowell was drawing a mustache on fellow judge Paula Abdul with crayons, rather than listening to the husky-voiced singer. A lot of Idol fans were annoyed that Cowell could barely provide a critique between giggles, which is not the case on X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent.

On X-Factor, Cowell is spiffed up in a suit, sitting straight up in his chair. He’s alert, attentive and more interested in the contestants and the same goes for Britain’s Got Talent. On Idol, Cowell can be seen dressed in his black T-shirt while slouching, is often surely surly and can’t even be bothered to create new putdowns.

Maybe it’s time for Cowell to move on.

One Response to “Fox To Order More American Idol Amid Rumors of Simon Cowell’s Departure”
Nessa - December 30th, 2009 at 10:39 am

i lost interest in idol when paula left, and its obvious simon lost interest then too. I hope to see them reunited on american x factor in 2011.

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