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Report: Simon Cowell near new 'Idol' deal that will add U.S. 'X Factor'

By Christopher Rocchio, 09/24/2009 

Simon Cowell is reportedly close to finalizing a new deal to continue serving as an American Idol judge and also bring his The X Factor U.K. reality series stateside.

Cowell and Fox are negotiating the final parts of a new two-year, $50 million-a-season deal that will keep him with American Idol through the top-rated reality talent competiton's 2012 edition, The Hollywood Reporter reported Wednesday.

As part of the new agreement, the Idol judge and network are also attempting to launch an American version of Cowell's The X Factor reality series, according to The Reporter, which added Cowell could earn an additional $50 million per The X Factor season.

All parties involved in the negotiations declined comment when contacted by The Reporter.

CKX, the parent company of American Idol's 19 Entertainment production company, revealed last month that Cowell was believed to be finalizing a new two-year deal to remain with Idol.

At the time, CKX chairman and CEO Robert Sillerman declined to disclose any financial details of the new deal, however according to previous reports about it, Cowell was expected to earn about $45 million a year -- a $9 million a year increase from his current Idol contract.

Cowell stated in April 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 due to his Fox contract.

This past summer, it was reported that Cowell was in talks with U.S. networks about launching The X Factor stateside.  While it was reported that he wanted to air The X Factor as a "friendly rival" to American Idol, a deal to bring The X Factor to Fox was not ruled out of the question at the time.

The X Factor is currently in the midst of its sixth season on Britain's ITV network.  According to previous reports, Cowell has decided it will be the last season on which he will serve as a judge.

Cowell created The X Factor and has served as a judge on the series since it premiered in September 2004.  Cowell's 20 million pound deal with ITV ends in December after the show's sixth season concludes.

It has yet to be determined if Cowell would appear as a The X Factor judge should it land on Fox, according to The Reporter, which added it was a "possibility."

In addition, former American Idol judge Paula Abdul is rumored to be under consideration as one of The X Factor's stateside judges if the deal is finalized, along with Cowell's fellow U.K. The X Factor judges -- pop star Cheryl Cole and manager Louis Walsh, according to The Reporter.

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