Simon Cowell planning to give 'Talent' the 'World Idol' treatment
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 11/28/2007
That's the question Simon Cowell is apparently planning to ask a worldwide audience via The World's Got Talent, a World Idol-like global competition that will assemble different Got Talent winners from various countries and pit them against one another to find the most talented person on the planet, the U.K.'s The Sun newspaper reported Tuesday.
"We have been thinking about doing this for a long time," Cowell, who created the America's Got Talent and Britain's Got Talent concept that has also spawned editions in numerous other countries including Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, and Sweden, told The Sun. "The planet has been crying out for a world talent competition."
Former Pop Idol and current Britain's Got Talent hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly -- the "Ant & Dec" team that served as the model for American Idol's original Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman co-hosting team -- will host The World's Got Talent, according to The Sun.
Cowell (who serves as a judge on Britian's Got Talent) and Piers Morgan (who serves as a judge on both America's Got Talent and Britian's Got Talent) will reportedly both be part of the Fall 2008 special'sfive-person judging panel.
Paul Potts -- the opera singer that won Britain's Got Talent's first season-- will reportedly represent the U.K. in the show, however unlike America's Got Talent, the British version has only aired one season thus far, making him the only current choice for the country's The World's Got Talent representation (a second U.K. edition is scheduled air in Summer 2008).
The Sun report did not specify which of America's Got Talent's two champions -- Season 1 winner Bianca Ryan, a pre-teen singer, or Season 2 champ Terry Fator, a ventriloquist -- Cowell is eyeing to serve as the States' The World's Got Talent representative.
Cowell told The Sun he thinks The World's Got Talent could attract a global audience of "more than 200 million" viewers, with the show's winner receiving a $1 million grand prize.
World Idolaired in December 2003 on Fox, and featured Idol winners from eleven Idol editions from around the globe. Norwegian Idol edition champion Kurt Nilsen won World Idol, with original American Idol champ Kelly Clarkson finishing second. "Ant & Dec" served as the two-part special's hosts. Unlike Cowell's The World's Got Talent plans, World Idol featured an 11-member judging panel that included a judge from each contestant's local Idol edition.