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Report: Cowell Quits UK’s ‘The X Factor’

While he continues to do his tedious fan dance as to who will judge the U.S. X Factor, Simon Cowell has reportedly told Brit broadcaster ITV that he will not be judging this year’s home-grown version. According to the Daily Mail, Cowell has dropped out because of health fears. Coping with running two X Factors on either side of the Atlantic, as well as producing both versions of Got Talent and ITV’s new game show Red Or Black, is too much –- even for the famously workaholic Cowell apparently. ITV mainstay presenters Ant ‘n’ Dec will host Cowell’s new game show, which begins filming in June for a September premiere. Even Cowell’s mother Julie has told him to slow down in case the 51-year-old has a heart attack. Syco tells me that “everything is still being discussed.” Reps for co-producer Talkback Thames and ITV declined to comment on the Mail story, describing it as “speculation.” But one insider tells me that you just have to look at how much overlap there will be between the runs of the Fox and ITV versions to see that it is just not humanly possible, even if Cowell only does the live shows in the U.K. and gets a private plane from ITV to shuttle him between Los Angeles and London every week. The U.S. and UK versions of X Factor both start airing in August and reach their finales at Christmas. … Read More »

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Sky About To Sell Its 7.5% Stake In ITV? Will NBC Or Even Simon Cowell Become Bidders?

By | Friday November 12, 2010 @ 9:17am PST

City analysts tell me the reason why ITV’s stock price is creeping up again is because BSkyB could be selling its share of ITV. “It would look better from a regulatory point of view,” says Paul Richards of Numis, referring to UK competition regulator Ofcom investigating News Corp’s bid to own Sky outright. (ITV was noticeably absent from the list of signatories including the BBC and Channel 4 who wrote to UK business secretary Vince Cable last month warning him about the deal. Media analyst Claire Enders tells me: “ITV has a lot to gain by cuddling up to BSkyB.”) RTL, Europe’s largest TV company, has been mentioned as one possible buyer of Sky’s ITV stake. NBC is another name in the mix since ITV’s news arm ITN already tailors news stories for the U.S. broadcaster. And Simon Cowell has said he’s been asked by various people in the States whether he’d be interested in putting together a joint bid for ITV. ITV itself is doing well, with its projected December ad revenue figures outperforming last year’s which bodes well for prospects in 2011.

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Simon Cowell Negotiating $32M ITV Pay Day

The network is trying to tie The X Factor supremo down to a 3-year deal. Cowell said on Friday that the UK X Factor could move to January 2012 to accommodate next year’s U.S. version. ITV executives have been looking for replacements for its ratings juggernaut, which got 10.8 million viewers on Saturday. Network executives had hoped the talent show would be running out of steam by this Fall’s series 7, giving them greater bargaining power. Cowell, 50, has even coined the nickname Mr ITV because he is so powerful at the station. ITV has assured Cowell it has the extra £4 million a year he wants pumped into The X Factor. “What we’re trying to do is make better shows than we’ve done before,” Cowell told the BBC. “If we can’t do that, there’s no point in doing it.” Given that Cowell’s current £6 million a year contract expires at the end of 2010, you do wonder why it’s taken ITV this long to get their biggest star to renew. Meanwhile, Cowell is investigating getting into the movie business providing he can find the right partner. Read More »

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