LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell says he will leave the most popular show on television if it ever slips from the top spot in the ratings.
"The idea that for the next five years, I'd be doing exactly what I've been doing for the past five years ... the thought is just too depressing," Cowell said in a recent interview in his trailer, awaiting a taping of "Idol" at CBS Television City. "I'd go nuts, bored out of my mind. You have to evolve, you have to change. I like the challenge of launching something new."
With Cowell's deal with Fox expiring at the end of next season, that something new could be a U.S. version of his U.K. singing competition series "The X Factor." Any doubts about Cowell's role in the success of "Idol" disappeared when he launched "Factor" three years ago. The similarly formatted show became a massive hit that has since supplanted "American Idol" predecessor "Pop Idol."
The "Factor" success was worrisome enough for Fox to forbid Cowell from launching the show in the U.S. while he's under his current "Idol" deal. But all that could soon change. Between the continuing popularity of "Idol" and Cowell's ownership of "Factor," he's armed with both a carrot and a stick.