Simon Cowell Quitting Idol , Launching X Factor

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Fox confirmed rumors today that this will be Simon Cowell’s last season as a judge on “American Idol.” He will instead launch “The X Factor” in the U.S. as an executive producer and judge:

FOX announced today that THE X FACTOR will launch in the U.S. in the fall of 2011. Simon Cowell, who created and launched THE X FACTOR in the U.K. in 2004, will serve as both executive producer and judge on the U.S. version, which will be produced by Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America.

THE X FACTOR is currently shown in 17 countries worldwide with a global audience of more than 500 million, and is the No. 1 TV entertainment format in Europe. Cowell will continue to serve as both executive producer and judge on the U.K. version. THE X FACTOR format is owned by Syco, a global music, television and film production joint venture between Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment.

“I’m thrilled that we have put a date on the launch of the U.S. version of THE X FACTOR, and delighted to be continuing to work with FOX,” said Cowell. “We have a fantastic relationship, a great team and are all very excited about this.”

Mike Darnell, President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, said, “We have had a very successful relationship with Simon Cowell for many years, and we’re absolutely delighted to continue our relationship with him. THE X FACTOR has been a massive success around the world, and we can’t wait to bring it to the U.S. in 2011.”

“THE X FACTOR has enjoyed an unparalleled success in its U.K. home market and globally,” said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America. “We are truly excited to bring it to the U.S. and look forward to building another entertainment franchise in the marketplace.”