Simon Cowell Hammering Out Deal With FOX to Include X Factor

Simon Cowel is still in the thick of negotiating a deal with Fox and 19E to remain on American Idol beyond Season 9.   Sources are telling the Hollywood Reporter that bringing the X Factor to America is key to the deal:

Cowell, in the final year of his contract on “Idol, ” had been open about his desire to bring his mega-hit British format to the U.S., something he couldn’t do under his existing “Idol” pact.

Now Fox and Cowell are said to be hammering out a deal to launch an American version of “X Factor” — while locking in Cowell as an “Idol” judge for two more years, through the 2011-12 season.

The total deal could top 100 million dollars a year.

New Trailer Released for West End&#...
New Trailer Released for West End's X Factor Musical, I CAN'T SING!

The deal has not been finalized and major points are being negotiated, but it is rumored that Cowell could earn about $50 million a season for “Idol” and, in success, “X Factor” might bring him an additional $50 million a cycle.

It’s rumored that Simon and Paula Abdul might appear as judges on the show.

It has not been determined whether Cowell, who would executive produce “X Factor” for Fox, also would appear as a judge, but it’s a possibility. Other rumored celebrity candidates for the judge panel are former “Idol” co-star Paula Abdul and two judges on the British “X Factor, ” pop star Cheryl Cole and manager Louis Walsh.

I’ve only begun watching the X Factor, and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.   But, does Fox really need two shows that are similar running on their network? It sounds like overkill. I wonder if both can survive?

About mj santilli 33694 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!

28 Comments

  1. Personally, I would be absolutely thrilled if they brought The X Factor to the U.S. I don’t know if it could compete with AI but if it were to pick up where AI left off if AI were to end, I think it could actually do quite well. I know alot of people hate Simon but I adore him. I also love Paula, and bringing Cheryl Cole as well as Louis Walsh over would be awesome. What would be great is if it could replace AGT because I really hate that show for some reason!!

  2. Doesn’t X Factor pretty much = American Idol, minus a few points? I don’t see this as a smart move.

    I don’t think X Factor could be very successful in the US with AI still there, or if it is successful it’ll leech away some of AI’s viewers.

  3. People hate Simon and love him at the same time. He’s got it made. The shows would not be the same without him as a judge. I would like X Factor to come on if the voting was fair, unlike AI.

  4. Now that Paula is gone from Idol, Simon needs to quit Idol and join Paula on the panel for US X-Factor. American Idol has now lost it’s credibility anyway by putting Ellen on board. Someone who has no exxperience or background in music, has no business judging a singing competition.

  5. Simon’s got Fox exactly where he wants them. Fox knows Idol will die without Simon — so he can ask for whatever he wants. And essentially what he’s asking for is the death of Idol so he can run the X-Factor here. (Somewhat similar, but not exactly, to what happened to Pop Idol in the UK.)

  6. Somewhat similar, but not exactly, to what happened to Pop Idol in the UK.

    What happened to Pop Idol in the UK?

  7. Sherena. Pop Idol was discontinued and was replaced by X-Factor, supposedly at Simon’s request.

    X-factor has two different categories to American Idol – groups and over 25’s so there may be a place for both.

  8. It looks like Fox is expecting Season 9 to have dismal ratings and is now getting the plans in place for the next show.
    Well after success ,always comes Decline.

    I would not be surprised if American Idol becomes the show for younger viewers and XFactor will be for the more mature audience .After all the voting system of American Idol is fitted for the tweens with their capability to text and dial multiple times.

    X factor can have a voting system that adults would relate to as being fair. And the likes of an Adam singing WLL in its full WLL glory would be allowed.

  9. Other rumored celebrity candidates for the judge panel are former ‘Idol’  co-star Paula Abdul and two judges on the British ‘X Factor,’  pop star Cheryl Cole and manager Louis Walsh..

    If that is Simon’s plan he is not as smart as he think he is.
    I think to lounge his show successful in the USA, Simon would need interesting American judges to let people turn in.
    Especially if you consider that at X factor the judges are also some kind of mentors, it would be strange to do it with people you have nothing to do with the American music industry with even you can say for Simon.

    ETA. Voting ?
    Does X factor works with paid votes in the UK?
    How would that work in the USA ? Or could you really lounge such a big show nowadays just with expected advertising revenue?

  10. mj, don’t forget to add the 2nd show of XF from this past weekend. There’s 2 shows this weekend too. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE XF! Thanks mj!

  11. I think if Simon only wants it to be a moderate hit, then it could be like a summertime replacement show, or possibly be on the air only when idol is not, then it might possibly work.

    All would depend on the judges though. Idols only limit is the age and that they don’t allow groups. There have been some interesting duos auditions and adding the option of groups could be something….

  12. God, I’m really conflicted about this. For what it’s worth, there was a good article on WhatNotToSing.com (here) that talked about how Idol was already turning into a show more like the X-Factor, with largely ugly results (thinks the bizarre focus on Hollywood week drama over singing, judges who are more personalities and kingmakers than judges).

    I really liked the new direction Idol was going in for those terms of the contestants’ artistry and versatility (which I thought had elevated it beyond its original, karaoke trappings), and not for the production choices that often seem designed more along the lines of the X-Factor, and really would have a hard time watching the new show (and would really hope it did poorly). I like my “boring singers”, thank you very much, and I would be sad beyond all speaking to see them go.

    If the X-Factor were to coexist with Idol, I’d be OK with that. But I imagine that’s not the game plan here. Maybe that’s just a cynicism that’s come from being a (relatively new) viewer. But I just don’t see Simon respecting the Idol franchise, something he certainly didn’t do last season.

  13. I don’t know much about X-Factor. Wasn’t curious as it just seemed like Idol to me. Can someone elaborate on how it’s different, particularly the voting?

  14. I never thought i’d hear myself say this but I hope they do bring X Factor to the US. I don’t like the changes they’ve made to Idol especially the addition of Ellen so i’d be happy to switch to this.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the Paula rumour, her antics with Simon on the show last season were ridiculous and a time waste so if it would mean more of that then I hope they find someone else but yeah, I like the idea and i’d tune in and probably vote for sure.

  15. I don’t understand the point in doing this. They are, virtually, the same show with the same concept at least. People who never made it on Idol would go to X-Factor. Would past Idol contestants be allowed to audition for X-Factor? I think X-Factor would definitely be an option once American Idol is finished. Idol is still going strong, and they should keep Idol on until it shows a real decline. Idol has become part of American music pop culture. To add in X-Factor right now would kind of take away some value of that, IMO

  16. julesjules- by bands do you mean like boy bands or do you mean full-on instrument playing bands?

    I would love it if they could do some kind of show where unsigned bands play their own original music.

  17. Well, replacing idol with X-Factor worked in the UK — maybe it will work here. Now that we’re stuck with Kara and Ellen (who I still love, but not on this show) as judges, I’m pretty much O.K. with replacing the show with something I would enjoy watching.

  18. I like how interested Simon seems on the British version of X Factor but can’t see him doing one here along with Idol. I’d hate to have finally gotten rid of Paula only to have her turn up there. I think it’s overkill and we don’t need it as long as Idol is going strong. Now as a competition on another network I could see but obviously Fox doesn’t want that.

  19. I don’t know much about X-Factor. Wasn’t curious as it just seemed like Idol to me. Can someone elaborate on how it’s different, particularly the voting?

    The 4 judges are mentors for each of their groups (chosen for them by the producers): boys, girls, groups/duos and over 25’s.

    Voting costs @ .50p per vote called in and text voting also charged according to varying mobile phone networks rates. It works, vote numbers are high, they rise each week, and are pretty high for the finale. UK viewers have always had to pay when voting since the birth of Pop Idol and all subsequent reality/talent/singing shows, so it’s no nig deal really.

    Unfortunately, this year the auditions and boot camp have been done BGT/AGT style – in front of live audience. I’ve hated it and many people I’ve spoken to have not enjoyed it either. Definitely ruined it so far, for me.

  20. Love Simon. If they run this during AI’s off season, I think it would be great. Paula as a judge? More great!

    When will it start??? I want to set the DVR!

  21. I think that there is a chance that X Factor could be a bust here. It reminds me of a mash up between American Idol and Americas Got Talent. I think fans of both will tune in, but I think they will quickly tune out as well. It will not have the extreme cheese factor that Americas Got Talent does, and I can;t imagine the singers on the show will have AI talent, so those fans will be critical of the show too. It took a few seasons for AI to really get a bit of cred in the music industry, and I think really talented musicians will be weary of trying out for X Factor.

  22. Maybe Fox is testing the waters and if Xfactor is a decent/semi hit, then it paves the way to replace American Idol (who many feel is on the decline)? Even if they make Xfactor a fall show only, it will be an overkill to have both on Fox. Its too similar in format to AI….unless they are planning to overtake Idol, I just dont see the purpose.

  23. Wait, wasn’t Ellen just hired for 5 season’s of AI. Doesn’t that mean 5 more season’s of AI?? We could have an overlap for 2- 3 years of AI and American X-Factor. Would make some sense….

  24. I think that there is a chance that X Factor could be a bust here. It reminds me of a mash up between American Idol and Americas Got Talent. I think fans of both will tune in, but I think they will quickly tune out as well. It will not have the extreme cheese factor that Americas Got Talent does, and I can;t imagine the singers on the show will have AI talent, so those fans will be critical of the show too. It took a few seasons for AI to really get a bit of cred in the music industry, and I think really talented musicians will be weary of trying out for X Factor.

    Well, even though people who want to break into the business might be willing to try anything, I can’t see as many musicians/artists being attracted to the X-Factor on account of its structure. The whole show puts the emphasis on the judges over the contestants. They mentor the acts, tell them exactly what to sing, and how to sing it. How do you get credibility being led around like that and put into pigeonholes that don’t fit you? Let alone, the idea that the judges would possibly be three Brits — two of whom are utter unknowns here — and one out-to-lunch American. Why would anybody with any kind of backbone want to allow these people to tell them what and how to perform? And what do they know about American music? Country? Folk? American rock?

    It’s hard enough on Idol to maintain your own identity and express what kind of artist you’ll be while navigating “theme weeks” or singing the songs of some artist outside your genre, but when you have NO choice in the matter, what good is that in terms of your future career?

    On the X-Factor, Simon has literally lifted successful song choices from Idol and given them to X-Factor contestants despite the fact that they didn’t fit at all! I doubt he’d be able to get away with that on an American version of X-Factor, as he’d be trying to rip off performances from contestants from the other show in the same country, in the same year — not only their performances, but their song choices, their style, their self-expression. I wonder where he would get his song choices then? From the Roberta Flack, Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick song catalogue?

  25. I’m not sure if you could run both as they’re very similar in as far as finding musical talent … the only difference being having the over 25’s and the groups. .. and when we say groups they are purely singing groups .. not bands with instruments. There has yet to be a group winner in the years it’s been running .. G4 came second and were kind of successful for a couple of years the split up (they were an operatic/cross over group along the lines of Il Divo) .. and last year we got JLS coming second . they’ve had a number one with their first single and are due to release their first album soon but have yet to be proved a long term success.

    The issue of the Over 25’s could be covered by raising the age for AI.

    It also has to be mentioned that the judges play a large part in the voting … they get to choose which act goes and which act stays by voting on the bottom two public vote getters .. and this isn’t a one off save as in AI this year . it happens every week up until the quarter final I think . could be the semis .. can’t remember

  26. Based on the lack of talent demonstrated by X-factor winners and finalists over the last few years I don’t think it is a good measure of talent. Anyone can look and sound good with back-up dancers, over the top production, while being drowned out by a full band and the song carried by back-up-singers.

    The x-factor I have watched (via Youtube) is totally focused on the judges and highlights them, as well as guest talent and production qualities. Besides, it uses way too much back-stage stuff for my taste and smacks of reality over-kill. Just sayin.

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