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Simon Cowell To Leave American Idol, Bring Another British Import To FOX

This year, it was Paula Abdul. Next year it will be Simon Cowell.

FOX and Cowell announced today this season would be his last with mega-hit American Idol, and beginning in 2011 he would be bringing his very American Idol-like X Factor across the pond and host the show for FOX as well.

THRFeed.com reports on the announcement, which was made at FOX’s Television Critic’s Association event this afternoon:

“In my opinion it’s like having a good player on a good football team,” Cowell told the critics. “But when the player retires the team will continue to be very successful. I’m confident ‘Idol’ will continue to be the No. 1 show. I want to leave ‘Idol’ this year bigger and better than it’s been before.”

The U.S. version of “X-Factor” will be a similar format to the UK version, with Cowell acting as judge and executive producer. The other judges will be announced shortly, Cowell said.

The “X-Factor” plan means Cowell will be off American television for more than a year.

It’s interesting to see the live-tweeting that took place during the announcement. Here’s a few from Forbes reporter Lacey Rose:

and now he’s agreeing to and signing his contract on stage

simon blast record labels – he says most are out of touch b/c they dont recognize talents like susan boyle.

Boyle is a product of the U.K. X Factor – probably the most successful from the show. but now that FOX will air both American Idol and X Factor, will it be singing competition overkill?

And who becomes the star of Idol? There’s a good chance the show could be reincarnated around Ellen Degeneres, this season and beyond, and X Factor becomes Cowell’s baby. Either way, there’s going to be a lot of singing and judging going on at FOX in 2011. Bigger question: will there be Conan O’Brien?

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