Simon Cowell Finally Quits American Idol

Tart-tongued judge will launch 'X Factor' after 9th 'Idol' season
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2010 3:45 PM CST
Simon Cowell Finally Quits American Idol
In this March 20, 2008 file photo, Simon Cowell attends the Details magazine Party in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (AP Photo/Phil McCarten, file)

Simon Cowell made the first of what will surely be many farewells to American Idol today, confirming to a gathering of American TV critics in Pasadena that he's leaving the show at the end of this year's 9th season. The caustic Brit who's considered Idol's biggest star said he's launching a US version of his UK show The X Factor on Fox in 2011, and he was not practically able to do both, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Cowell is said to rake in $36 million a year from American Idol, but he could make much more on The X Factor, which he owns. Of course he told the TV critics the move wasn't about the cash, the AP reports. "I was offered a lot of money to stay on," Cowell said. "But that wasn't the reason behind it. I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge." (More American Idol stories.)

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