Reuters reports that a source familiar with the situation says the FOX television network is close to signing a deal for a second homage to its breakout summer reality series "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar."

A spokesman for the network, a unit of News Corp. Ltd., had no comment on the matter. But the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a deal near for another U.S. rendition of the British import.

According to the source, the second U.S. edition of "Idol" would debut no sooner than the first quarter of 2003. It would also add more episodes about the nationwide audition process -- a strong element in the original British show but less emphasized in the U.S. version. As a result, the second rendition would run longer than the 13 weeks scheduled for the current edition.

Fox would also like to bring back Simon Cowell, a sharp-tongued British record executive imported from the original show for the U.S. version.