FOX Close to Signing a Deal For More Idol – With or Without Simon Cowell

Fox is close to signing a deal for more seasons of “American Idol”– with or without Simon Cowell.

FOX’s current contract with 19 and FremantleMedia extends through the end of 2011. The deal that’s being hammered out now includes three seasons of Idol, although that number could still change.

Rumors have been flying that Simon will depart the show at the end of Season 9 to concentrate on bringing his UK competition reality show,   XFactor to the States. (listen to Simon’s brother Tony spill the news of Simon’s departure HERE in a recent podcast).

Fox would prefer to extend Simon’s contract with Idol at least another season. One potential compromise would be for Simon to take a smaller role on Idol in 2011–judging the Hollywood rounds, but not the auditions, for instance.

Fox was originally planning X Factor for the fall of 2010, but delays in the Sony deal have pushed to show to an expected 2011 premiere date.

Before anything is finalized, at FOX, Simon still needs to sign his new contract with X Factor owner Sony. Once that’s out of the way, Simon will be free to make a deal with FOX to bring XFactor to the states.

I’m not surprised that Fox is ready and willing to forge ahead without Simon. But,   I say dump Simon altogether if he can’t commit, in order to concentrate on finding a full time replacement.

If I were to pick, my vote would go to Dicko from Australian Idol. Like Simon, he’s a straight shooting A&R guy with an accent. Unlike Simon, he LOVES music.

I suspect the person who takes Simon’s place won’t be some anonymous A&R guy from a record label. I’m betting on an A list performer or entertainer along the lines of Ellen Degeneres… But a MEAN Ellen Degeneres. Heh.

VIA THR

About mj santilli 33680 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

49 Comments

  1. Simon’s replacement has to be kinda mean (if the Cheerio’s coach on Glee were “real” she’d be perfect :)). IMO Idol desperately needs some new dialogue as Simon’s recycled comments are getting too predictable and tiresome. Just as we need new singers each year, we need new faces at the judge’s table. Ryan Seacrest is the only “oldtimer” who keeps it fresh enough to warrant his 3 year contract.

  2. I for one will not be watching an Idol without Simon. His opinion is the only one that I actually find valuable

  3. so let me get this straight. not only will we be having competing television shows but we will have competing contestants within each show and those contestants from each show competing against eachother on the charts?

    I probably wont watch either. ive been getting a little tired of the formula anyway.

  4. Simon’s replacement has to be kinda mean

    I think a really good replacement would be Dicko from Australian Idol. He’s a straight shooting A&R guy with an accent, but he actually knows something about music. He was a judge on the short lived “Greatest American Band” a few years ago.

  5. Just as we need new singers each year, we need new faces at the judge’s table. Ryan Seacrest is the only ‘oldtimer’  I think needs to stay.

    ITA. Simon’s been making the same comments for 8 years now. Time for some new blood, and I think bringing in 1 new judge a year is a good way to do it. It lessens the shock of the transition. I’m just hoping that Kara is Randy’s replacement, and that he’ll leave the year after Simon, so we can go back to a 3 judge panel.

    It would be great if Idol could get someone along the lines of Brian Eno to replace Simon- someone who is an established artist in their own right, but who’s also produced some of the best recent albums (Eno produced Viva La Vida and No Line on the Horizon). He’s probably a little to A list for Idol though.

    Or they could just go ahead and hire Ben Folds.

  6. Yes, Dicko would be wonderful. Really liked that “Greatest American Band”. I think the winners (two brothers…can’t remember their names) were on Dancing with the Stars this season backing up somebody in the results show. Goodness…names are hard . They just don’t stand out.

    Ben Folds is great too.

  7. I think the winners (two brothers’ ¦can’t remember their names) were on Dancing with the Stars this season backing up somebody in the results show.

    The Clark brothers, now the Sultans of Sylvan. They played on Carrie Underwoods Play On and guested on her Holiday special. One of them used to be her fiddle player

  8. thanks mj

    I remember now…watched bits and pieces of her holiday special

  9. He was a judge on the short lived ‘Greatest American Band’  a few years ago.

    Thx MJ, I was just wracking my brain to try to remember where I knew him from.,..

  10. Sharon Osbourne might be a good judge also. She knows so much about the music business and has experience as a judge. I know she used to judge the X factor, and I would like to see her judging more music acts than she does on America’s got Talent.

  11. The problem is, Simon Cowell is the original mean Idol judge. Idol producers all around the world tried to find their own Simons, but no one could match the original.

    I doubt they would try to find someone to play Simon’s role. That would be the end of American Idol. Actually, Simon’s departure could be the end, too.
    Here in Slovenia our public broadcaster published an article about Simon leaving Idol. Comments? Everyone thinks this is the end. We watch American Idol, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent… Simon is iconic. Contestants come and go, but judges (mostly) stay. We can live without Paula, but Simon?

    And I really don’t know how they plan to do Idol and X Factor in the same year? Will they move Idol to autumn and do X Factor in spring? Or will Simon move British X Factor to spring? I really don’t know…

  12. I like Sharon Osbourne but I don’t think I’d like her as a judge. If they replace Simon I think it will work out best to pick somebody very intelligent, articulate, and music industry oriented. That could be a journalist, a producer, a songwriter, or a performer. Bottom line is I think people will accept a replacement only if that person doesn’t try to be Simon Cowell.

  13. The Clark brothers, now the Sultans of Sylvan. They played on Carrie Underwoods Play On and guested on her Holiday special. One of them used to be her fiddle player

    Ha Ha MJ!!!

    The Clark Brothers are now called the Sons of Sylvia!!!
    I thought Sultans sounded a wee bit non-country:):):)

  14. The Clark brothers, now the Sultans of Sylvan.

    I thought this was who she may have been referring to. However, I thought there were three of them and they are now called the Sons of Sylvia?

    I’m definitely fine w/o Simon. My husband could see a huge change in him this year especially. He used to think Simon was the only judge worth listening to and always waited to hear what he had to say.

  15. I have serious doubts that AI can long survive without Simon. Also, I just can’t see FOX having both AI and X-Factor on. Even though they probably wouldn’t be running at the same time, there would have to be some overlap if X-Factor’s season is as long as AI’s ‘” unless one runs during the summer or unless one runs through the holiday rerun period. If AI continues, my guess is another network could get X-Factor. NBC anybody?

  16. Speaking of Fox…. GLEE comes on tonight (I knows its old but still.. it’s GLEE)

  17. Simon’s the only judge I pay attn to, though I’d say Kara could come into her own this year.

    Simon being so negative toward both Allison & Kris made him lose major cred IMO. Given that Kradison are now considered the major finds of this AI season, the fact that he continually dissed 2 out of 3 of them really exposed his lack of awareness.

    I can see AI w/o Simon, but I can’t see AI w/o a Simon-like straight-shooter replacing him.

  18. I fully expect that Piers guy to be Simon’s replacement. He’s snotty beyond belief, he’s British, he thinks he’s God’s gift, and he’s pals with Simon. Voila! Simon Lite. Yes, I know he’s on America’s Got Talent, but that show seriously needs to disappear, and it’s a good excuse to cancel it if they need to send the odious Piers over to replace the odious Simon.

    Maybe they could do rotating trainwrecks, so people would tune in to see when the show goes completely off the rails. Ozzie Osbourne, Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears, Joaquin Phoenix, Andy Dick, Gary Busey… Liquor ’em up and send ’em out and watch the spectacle!

  19. Simon’s replacement will probably be Susan Boyle

    Oh no!!! She’s nuttier than Tatiana! ;)

  20. What’s Prince Charles doing these days? He clearly has time on his hands.

  21. What’s Prince Charles doing these days? He clearly has time on his hands

    I know Prince William and Prince Harry used to be American Idol fans as they said so in a TV interview .. and Harry was at the X Factor final last week so you may be onto something there … lol … Harry would certainly make an interesting addition to the panel .. ha

  22. How about for Simon’s replacement ….. you choose, mj, since you need to be promoted to executive producer!

  23. The only thing I think for sure – the host cannot change.

    In reality, the show should be about the IDOLS, not the judges. And they need all the emphasis, from the start of auditions (for the good people) right to the finale and beyond.

  24. Unless AI finds a way to be relevant to the under 30 set this may well be its final year. The franchise has flooded the market with safe, family friendly winners and this isn’t what American seems to be looking for.

    I don’t think Simon Fuller is a stupid man and if he can’t get the American public to embrace someone who may have a real shot at success and watches them pick a “safe” middle of the road winner once again, then Season 9 may be the nail in the coffin and Season 10 will definitely be the END.

  25. Unless AI finds a way to be relevant to the under 30 set this may well be its final year. The franchise has flooded the market with safe, family friendly winners and this isn’t what American seems to be looking for.

    I don’t think Simon Fuller is a stupid man and if he can’t get the American public to embrace someone who may have a real shot at success and watches them pick a ‘safe’  middle of the road winner once again, then Season 9 may be the nail in the coffin and Season 10 will definitely be the END.

    If that is the case, they might want a Justin Bieber-type young guy to win?

  26. Hiring Piers Morgan would be silly, but I wouldn’t be surprised. The only way to avoid looking like a cheap rip off of Simon is to be the exact opposite. Fans might embrace somebody who is very different from Simon (but still knowledgeable). They might more easily reject a “second rate Simon” and therefore American Idol.

  27. CSFan
    12/23/2009 at 10:16 pm

    Hiring Piers Morgan would be silly, but I wouldn’t be surprised. The only way to avoid looking like a cheap rip off of Simon is to be the exact opposite. Fans might embrace somebody who is very different from Simon (but still knowledgeable). They might more easily reject a ‘second rate Simon’  and therefore American Idol.

    I agree. Piers would be a huge mistake. Seriously, they’d be better off with an unknown and just give them a 5 minute intro during the first show to let us get to know him/her. The need someone with music credibility that is smart, quick and has superior verbal skills. If they can’t verbalize it and make us believe they know what they’re talking about, it’s a fail. If they can’t verbalize briefly, it’s a fail. If they can’t verbalize while being entertaining, it’s a fail. Really, they need to hold auditions for the judge position. That would make a good summer show. :) We could vote on it.

  28. I have my heart set on Ben Folds :)

    Ok, not really, but he was awesome. It would be really nice to have someone who speaks well AND loves music. And when I say ‘loves music’ what I really mean is someone who KNOWS SOMETHING about music.

    Simon really stunk it up last season. He used to be my fave judge but last year he was so damn bored and it showed. I have a private hope that Ellen will put him back on his toes, but it’s a pretty faint one.

    As for Simon Fuller giving up because America might choose the less dramatic contestant, well, they chose Carrie and he was just fine with that.

  29. Piers Morgan has no qualification at all to judge music, he’d be the worst choice. He’d sound stupid trying to say anything meaningful about music. Just in case people don’t know, Piers Morgan main claim to fame in UK is as a former editor of tabloid newspapers who got sacked for publishing faked story. He has absolutely no background in the music industry.

  30. isn’t XFactor working against the young crowd when older people can win? (Or is that some other show–the one the Susan Boyle was on?)

  31. Susan Boyle was on Britain’s Got Talent. X-Factor tends to have young people.

  32. If AI wants a Brit, but one who has some credibility music-wise, here are a few notable ones (although I think none of them will accept if offered the job, they probably think it beneath them) –

    Jools Holland – presenter of a music show Later With Jools Holland, here’s him introducing Seasick Steve whose performance on Jools’ show made him an unlikely star in UK – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNoPNC3ebYQ

    Tony Parsons – critic and broadcaster. Began his career writing for NME, the music magazine in UK. Here’s him talking about his book – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOVZuAPQWK0

    Julie Burchill – writer and ex-wife of Tony Parsons and who also once wrote for NME (the couple were kinda legendary in music journalism). A provocative writer, would be great if she can say the things on TV she writes but unfortunately probably not a TV person.

    Paul Gambaccini – a broadcaster who won many awards, actually an American (but now a British citizen) who used to present American chart show on the radio. Here’s him interviewing Elton John – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_upIS9KTjw

  33. You know, I never thought I’d say this, but maybe it’s time the show and Simon part ways. If Simon’s heart isn’t in it anymore, then so be it. I’ve kind of felt him getting weary with the show the last couple seasons. To be honest, I’m kind of weary with the show. I watched off and on last year. Not really excited yet about the coming season.

    The funny thing is when I watched the show as a casual viewer, I thought Simon hung the moon. But after being an “invested” fan and watching a season really closely, I saw so many inconsistencies in Simon’s comments, so many times when his comments seemed based more on saving face or born of his own ego than I had realized. Personally, I’d welcome the change.

  34. If you asked me 3-4 years ago if Simon could be replaced, I would have said no. As has been mentioned, he seems to have lost interest in the show and the contestants themselves. It just may be time to move on.

    Would I still watch American Idol? Yes, I would if they had 24 wonderfully talented people. They are out there, and many have been rejected by AI. Sure they would have to come up with a new gimmic, but with the right choice AI could succeed.

    Unlike Simon, he LOVES music.

    The ability to talk, love music, and be knowledgeable is a requirement. I say this because they would have to keep Randy if Simon left.

  35. The ability to talk, love music, and be knowledgeable is a requirement. I say this because they would have to keep Randy if Simon left.

    Which is all extremely ironic. Simon doesn’t even fill all those qualifications. He never did.

    Well, Merry X-mas to you all.

  36. The franchise has flooded the market with safe, family friendly winners and this isn’t what American seems to be looking for.

    Well, the “non family friendly”* runner up was in every show of S8 and got the biggest Idol roll out of all time, complete with top magazine covers, movie tie ins, premiering on a big TV awards show etc. But he’s not even close to catching up with any of the past successful winners at the same point in their release cycle.

    And the safe, family friendly winners Carrie, Kelly and Daughtry have all had chart-topping radio hits this year, Kelly had 2 platinum songs, and Carrie’s about to go platinum on her album–her third. Not to mention Cook’s success last year.

    The Season 8 guys are both talented, but currently represent a low point in the franchise in how slowly their albums, singles and airplay have taken off. Since they’re so different, I don’t think that dual slow start tells us all the much about what America’s looking for in singers, except that Season 8 wasn’t it. Unless people are punishing Idol for Kris’ win by failing to buy Adam’s product either.

    Both are seeing some progress on the air now, so maybe they’ll do fine in the end, and what we’re seeing is the eroding power of the franchise, which can now give singers a helpful start but has less star-making power in and of itself. Need to see what happens with Season 9.

    * not that I agree with this silly phrase–every body’s part of a family

  37. Just as a by and by….AI winners are Kris, David C., Jordin, Taylor, Carrie, Fantasia, Ruben, and Kelly. People seem to get winners mixed up with peeps who 19 deemed acceptable to sign.

    And as far as the winners of American Idol the only two that have “great” “all over America” careers at this point are Carrie and Kelly. Kris is hanging on with his fingernails, David has a small niche audience and hasn’t broken through yet, Jordin is just getting by, Taylor is beyond recovery, Fantasia has a very select audience, Ruben can’t sell a 1000 tickets to a concert, and Kelly is still the most highly visible Idol winner.

    Runner-ups DID NOT WIN IDOL AND WERE NOT THE VOTERS CHOICE and they go out into the market with the stigma of not being America’s choice….so they shouldn’t be lumped into the winner’s category. They have all kinds of obstacles in their path that the winner’s don’t.

  38. Right, there’s using the right Idol terminology which fandom–not the world–cares about.

    Daughtry and Adam Lambert received every advantage the winners got. Adam Lambert received every single privilege and promotional tool that any winner got, plus more. Daughtry got way more then the winner of his season, who the music biz pros were skeptical of.

    But you’re not looking at the other point. The roundabout quote I responded to theorized that S8’s anemic sales and airplay proves that America no longer wants these safe mainstream artists !!!!! Etc!!! Which makes no sense, since the very same year the same past Idol biggies that are being dinged are “family friendly & safe” had excellent results.

    They have all kinds of obstacles in their path that the winner’s don’t.

    Like what? Massive exposure during & after the show, top notch producers, expensive videos, slots on major TV shows, prominent retail display, big label pushes for their singles, media coverage?

    Other then internal Idol fanwars, what huge obstacles did Daughtry and Lambert face, specific to being an Idol star, but not the winner?

  39. The stigma of not being America’s choice

    There is no such thing outside of fanboards. The general public doesn’t think Idol winners are “America’s choice,” they think they’re a reality show audience’s choice. Being the hit of your Idol season (whether the winner or not) means people have heard of you. If they like your music, they’ll buy it. If not, not.

    No actual customer has ever reached out for a CD and then drawn back their hand saying NO! THE STIGMA of buying the record by the album that came second (or whatever)!

  40. Daughtry and Adam Lambert received every advantage the winners got. Adam Lambert received every single privilege and promotional tool that any winner got, plus more. Daughtry got way more then the winner of his season, who the music biz pros were skeptical of.

    Yup…these guys got stuff because someone, other than the AI voters, thought they DESERVED IT, the American Idol watchers didn’t seem to think so. These guys were loosers and had to start from scratch. Spin it anyway you want….America spoke and picked the ONE they thought would make the biggest impact on the music scene. And since they don’t seem to get it right a lot of the time (based on sales and media and overall acceptance) then the show isn’t the valuable tool it once was.

  41. Yup’ ¦these guys got stuff because someone, other than the AI voters, thought they DESERVED IT, the American Idol watchers didn’t seem to think so.

    With that in mind, what “obstacles” has Adam had to face simply because he didn’t win American Idol? Adam has received the best gigs and promo-better than what some past winners have received. I don’t see any obstacles or persecution here. Being an Idol “loser” certainly hasn’t hurt him.

    what we’re seeing is the eroding power of the franchise, which can now give singers a helpful start but has less star-making power in and of itself.

    That’s what I think is happening more than anything.

  42. these guys got stuff because someone, other than the AI voters, thought they DESERVED IT, the American Idol watchers didn’t seem to think so. These guys were loosers and had to start from scratch. Spin it anyway you want’ ¦.America spoke and picked the ONE they thought would make the biggest impact on the music scene.

    No. That’s not what American Idol is about. It’s about people voting for those they like (or simply those they want to vote for for whatever reason – this season it appears that many people vote against Adam rather than for Kris). The losers certainly didn’t have to start from scratch. They got their hardcore fans from Idol, it helped them to kickstart their career.

  43. I can certainly live without Simon. I used to respect what he had to say but now just seems jaded and often has an obvious agenda. Losing him on the show may hurt ratings but a lot depends on what happens this season with Ellen. I’d like to having someone who knows music, the business, and isn’t bored or boring.

    I don’t know if young people are ever going to think someone who wins AI is cool no matter what they do. It doesn’t mean they can’t be successful but need to build on their fanbase. I think Chris Daughtry has done that. I looked around the concert I went to recently and it was by far a young crowd and quite a bit different from the AI concerts I’ve been to.

  44. Without Simon Cowell, AI will keep spirling downward. Simon Cowell is not replacable. But really, when Paula left, that’s the beginning of the end. I hope they cancel the show while it’s still on top and not let it become a skeleton of a show and a laughingstock. That would be truly sad.

    I also feel Ellen will not add anything worthwhile to the show. Hiring a comic and talk show host to judge a singing competition is a poor choice.

  45. There are obstacles for losers including Adam. Alot of people think will if the loser was so great why didn’t they win. I have heard that mentioned with Adam just a runner up on a reality show. The winner gets an advantage with radio play with coronation single introduction. It is not surprising Kris didn’t have problems getting radio play as the winner unlike Adam and Allison .Kris had tons of Jingle Balls, Disney activities, Radio interviews and TV and Magazine appearances that Adam, Danny and Allison didn’t get plus an I-tune pass. The only thing I really think that Adam got that Kris didn’t wasn’t the AMA opportunity that he didn’t do so hot on.

  46. The winner gets an advantage with radio play with coronation single introduction.

    I really do think if Kris had a better coronation song, that charted well, his album would have sold a lot better on the first week. The fact that he dropped the song on tour didn’t help either.

    My vote if for Elton John to replace Simon. It’s got to be an easier gig than Las Vegas and they can pay him what they pay Simon. I would love for Elton to give real constructive criticism to the contestants. That would be awesome.

  47. My vote if for Elton John to replace Simon

    The thought of someone like Elton John came to mind, but I thought no way. Yet, in every way he would be perfect! He is familiar with the workings of the show, is a music expert, is articulate, and sassy.

    undercooked, I do believe you are a genius. Would you give him a call?

  48. undercooked, I do believe you are a genius. Would you give him a call?

    I think I have him on speed dial, so I’m right on it. :) I do think at this stage in Elton’s career, it might be something he might agree to for one season. I think the viewership would go up. And if he actually agreed to it, he could be the mentor for one of the weeks and we could actually perhaps see real coaching of the contestants.

    I don’t know why I want it to be someone British, but I do. If he’s not available, then how about someone like Ringo Starr. He did Thomas the Tank Engine so I know he’s not against TV shows. Perhaps he could get Sir Paul to come out and mentor? There are a gazillion people I would love to do it, but I’m trying to stick to the those folks who might, even if it is a long shot, consider it.

    Other big names that I know have done shows in Vegas….Bette Midler and Cher. If they could make the same money they do for one year in Vegas, then why not to AI for one season? I think those two would be good because they have some attitude. Ok, AI folks, if you are reading this….get on it. :)

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