The Hollywood Reporter reports that Simon Cowell, the British music executive who shot to fame as "Idol's" brutally frank judge, has signed up for the second season of the reality hit, set for broadcast on Fox early next year. One insider said Cowell will net at least $1 million for "Idol 2," though network officials would not comment on that figure or whether the deal had officially closed.

Cowell spent the past decade working as a BMG Records executive. His tart put-downs of aspiring singers made him a national celebrity during the run of "Pop Idol," the British precursor to "American Idol."

There is no word yet on Cowell's fellow judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, though they are expected to return. "Idol 2" will begin its run during the first quarter of 2003, though such details as time slot and number of episodes are still being worked out.