The American Idol judge is currently in talks with U.S. networks about launching the U.K. reality competition series as a "friendly rival" to the Fox mega-hit, the U.K.'s The Sun newspaper reported Saturday.
While negotiations are still in the early stages, The Sun reported Cowell would not appear as a judge on a stateside version of The X Factor but hopes fellow U.K. judges Cheryl Cole and Louis Walsh would make the trip across the Atlantic.
"Simon is really keen on bringing The X Factor to America as it has been such a hit in the U.K.. And he is convinced that the yanks will love Cheryl and Louis," an insider told The Sun.
"He's made no secret of the fact that he wants to expand his TV interests around the world and this is one of the first big ideas he's got. It's early days but he hopes to get it on air next year."
Despite the current presence of Idol, a deal to bring The X Factor to Fox is not out of the question, according to The Sun.
Last month, it was reported that Cowell had decided the upcoming sixth season of the The X Factor reality series would be the last installment on which he serves as a judge.
Cowell created The X Factor and has served as a judge on the series since it premiered in September 2004. The 20 million pound deal Cowell has with ITV -- the U.K. network that airs the series -- ends in December after the show's sixth season concludes its broadcast run.
In April, Cowell told The New York Times that once the November 2005 five-season agreement he signed with Fox expires after Idol's ninth season next spring, he would be free to sell the rights to The X Factor stateside and even appear on-screen for the series -- which is something he currently can't do with any of his other American projects, including NBC's America's Got Talent, due to his Fox contract.
He reiterated that he thinks America is ready for another music competition series that could rival Idol, however he teased "maybe it'll be The X Factor" or "maybe it'll be something new."
"We have to bring in another music show," he told The Hollywood Reporter in April. "In the U.K., there is more than one type of music show running throughout the year. And I think the same thing could happen here, because for the fall, nothing really happens. It's something we've been thinking about... I would definitely do it now."
(Photo credit Fox)
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