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HOME > American Idol > American Idol 10

Brother: Simon Cowell will leave 'American Idol' following ninth season

By Christopher Rocchio, 12/22/2009 

American Idol's upcoming ninth season will apparently be Simon Cowell's last.

"Simon prepares for a new season of Idol -- or should I say, his last season of Idol. Okay, I will. Because it is," Cowell's older brother Tony said during this week's The Cowell Factor with Tony Cowell segment on the Fames Games independent music radio show.

"As I sit here in the sunny Caribbean with my family, a press statement is being prepared, which will confirm what everyone expected: Simon will leave Idol at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of The X Factor to U.S. TV in 2011."

While he has insisted it isn't a negotiating ploy, Cowell has spent the last year stating he's unsure whether he'll remain with American Idol once the five-season extension he signed in 2005 expires after the show's ninth season airs on Fox in early next year.

The contract -- which has also kept Cowell from appearing on-screen for America's Got Talent or any of his other American projects -- also included an agreement that prevented him from selling the rights to an American adaptation of The X Factor during the contract period.

However, last week London's The Times newspaper reported Cowell is in the process of finalizing a deal for an American The X Factor edition that would air on Fox and feature Cowell -- who created The X Factor and has served as the original British edition's lead judge since it launched in 2004 -- as its lead judge and begin filming in Los Angeles in September 2011.

Cowell's The X Factor agreement with Fox is reportedly expected to be signed in early 2010.

Cowell first began publicly speculating about the possibility of launching The X Factor stateside once his American Idol agreement expires earlier this year.

American Idol's ninth season will premiere on Tuesday, January 12 at 8PM ET/PT.

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