Simon Cowell Will Focus on The X-Factor After Quitting American Idol

Jan. 11 2010, Published 5:50 a.m. ET

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While it’s no secret that this season of American Idol marks Simon Cowell’s last as a judge, it has been confirmed that the snippy Brit will be focusing on the launch of the American version of “The X-Factor.”

Simon Cowell to Leave American Idol.

Fox, which is also Idol’s home, picked up “Factor” for fall 2011. Fox chairman Peter Rice and entertainment president Kevin Reilly officially announced the news on Monday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

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"In my opinion it's like having a good player in a good football team," Cowell told the assembled journalists. "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."

Just like on the UK version of Factor, Cowell will be a judge and executive producer. The US format is set to follow the original method of splitting the contestants amongst the show’s four judges who act as mentors.

Simon Cowell

"I loved that first year on 'Idol' when I didn't know know whether it would work or not," Cowell said. "I have that feeling now about The X-Factor."



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