Simon Cowell revealed plans last night to quit X Factor to concentrate on the US version of the show, coming to FOX in fall of 2011, according to the UK paper, The Sun.
“At the moment you are going to see me doing one show next year – and not one in England, ” said Simon, “I have a contract for this year and that is it.”
The future of Britain’s Got Talent–the show that launched the career of Susan Boyle–also hangs in the balance. He tells the Daily Mail, “I have not decided if I am doing Britain’s Got Talent. There are a lot of scheduling issues. We are getting to the point where we have to make a decision.”
Simon reportedly feels that preparing for the US version of X Factor will leave him no time to do the British programs.
Simon said he still had not decided if the UK’s X Factor could go ahead without him as a judge – but said it would have to switch dates.
“I am going to sit it out for a few more weeks before I make a final decision. And it has to be fun. The minute it stops being fun, bye bye.”
An ITV source said last night, “We expect he’ll be back on the X Factor. It’s such a huge show and Simon is integral to it.
“We envision moving the show to October or November and screening the auditions while he does the live show in the States. Then he can return for the live shows in January.”
There’s been chatter over the last few days that next year’s UK X Factor would be canceled altogether, and that ITV is already looking for a show to replace the extremely popular Saturday night program.
UK X Factor posted it’s best ratings ever this past weekend, with 12.5 million viewers watching. It’s hard to believe Simon would ditch such a cash cow.
Is he really that much of a control freak, that he can’t delegate some of his producing/judging duties to others as he prepares for the US X Factor?