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Fox inking deal for more 'American Idol' -- with or without Simon Cowell


By Christopher Rocchio, 12/23/2009 

The show will reportedly go on for American Idol even if Simon Cowell decides to walk away.

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Fox is close to inking a new deal with American Idol's 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia production companies that will take the reality series through its thirteenth season in 2014, The Hollywood Reporter reported Wednesday.

The network's current contract with the show's producers expires after its tenth season in 2011.

Reports that a deal is near come a day after Cowell's older brother Tony claimed Simon's Idol run would end following its ninth season this spring, which is when his current contract expires.

"Simon prepares for a new season of Idol -- or should I say, his last season of Idol. Okay, I will. Because it is," said Tony 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."

According to The Reporter, Cowell first needs to sign a new contract with Sony, his partner in Syco Television, the production company that produces The X Factor, before he can make a deal with Fox to bring the reality competition -- which he created and has served as lead judge on since its 2004 U.K. debut -- to America.

Fox was originally hoping to premiere The X Factor next fall, however delays in Sony's negotiations with Cowell have pushed it to an expected 2011 premiere, according to The Reporter.

While Fox has remained mum, the network would like to package its The X Factor agreement with at least one more season of Cowell on Idol's judging panel, according to The Reporter.

(Photo credit Fox)


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