“American Idol’s” Simon Cowell has been very vocal about his desire to bring his British “Idol” evolution, “The X Factor,” over to the United States. Unfortunately, Fox made it a contractual sticking point that he couldn’t do it under their watch. Now, The Hollywood Reporter is disclosing that may all change with Cowell’s new “American Idol” contract.
A massive hit in the UK, “X Factor” is best known for launching the career of Leona Lewis, but it’s similarities to “Idol” made Fox err on the side of caution and keep the competition off American shores. This new deal would allow Cowell to create a U.S. version of “X Factor” for Fox exclusively while locking him in as a judge on “American Idol” through the 2011-12 television season. What would the blunt “Idol” star receive for staying in the Fox family? Cowell could reportedly earn $50 million a season for “Idol” and if it’s a hit, another $50 million for a domestic “X Factor” on FOX which would most likely run during the Summer or Fall out side of “Idol’s” spring window.
Cowell would executive produce the Fox “X Factor,” but it’s not clear whether he’d appear on the show as a judge as he does in the UK. Who might step in his place? How about his former “Idol” co-hort Paula Abdul? The trade reports two popular British “X Factor” judges, pop star Cheryl Cole and manager Louis Walsh could also be in the mix. However, considering the shocker Fox delivered by having Ellen DeGeneres replace Abdul expect the unexpected.
More news on this story as it develops on HitFix.