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Simon Cowell leaving American Idol


Scoop: Simon Cowell will leave ‘American Idol’

This season will be judge’s last as he brings ‘X Factor’ to the United States

By Courtney Hazlett

The Scoopmsnbc.comupdated 3:59 p.m. ET, Mon., Jan. 11, 2010

This season will indeed be Simon Cowell’s last season of “American Idol.”


Cowell dropped the bombshell Monday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., while announcing his show “X Factor” will launch in the United States in 2011.


“We reached an agreement formally at half past 10 this morning, ‘X Factor’ will launch in America in 2011. Because of that this will be my last season on ‘American Idol’ this year,” Cowell reportedly said.


“American Idol” will soldier on without Cowell, according to Fox executive Peter Rice. Cowell’s role on “X Factor” will be that of producer and judge — his fellow judges will be announced “fairly soon,” he said.


“X-Factor” is a British show not unlike “America’s Got Talent.” Cowell's not just a judge on "X Factor," he has a financial stake in its success. “X Factor” is produced by his production company, Syco.


Sources say that Cowell’s contract with “American Idol” prevented him from launching any sort of competing show.


The Associated Press reported that while Cowell makes a reported $36 million a year to be on “American Idol,” he owns “The X Factor” and could make much more if the show takes off.

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