Insider: Fox Eyes Simon Cowell Project to Launch After ‘American Idol’ Ends Run (Exclusive)

TheWrap has learned that network is looking to reteam with former judge after year-long break following “Idol’s” 15th and final season

Simon Cowell
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Fox may be looking to get back in bed with Simon Cowell after “American Idol” wraps its 15-season run.

An insider close to the network told TheWrap that top brass are considering a reteam with the mega-producer and outspoken former judge after Fox rests the talent competition format for a year. The project would be eyeing a 2017 TV Season launch, according to the insider.

A spokesperson for Fox declined to comment. A rep for Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment has not yet returned TheWrap’s request for comment.

“Word all over the lot is that they’re going to take a year after ‘Idol,’ let the time slot breathe, and then they’re going with another Cowell reality project,” the individual said.

“Idol” came to North America in 2001 via 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia, who have replicated the successful format all over the world. Fox premiered “American Idol” in 2002, where it’s been a flagship series for the network in good times and bad.

Cowell became a household name in the States as the mouthy centerpiece of the original judges panel — which also included Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson  — quickly elevating the series in the zeitgeist thanks to his blunt critiques and cutting one-liners. Cowell left the show in 2010 to partner again with Fox on a sibling competition series, “The X Factor.”

Launching in 2011, “X Factor” was positioned as the heir apparent to “Idol,” which itself was grappling with waning audiences. It failed to meet expectations and was cancelled after three seasons. News of the “Idol” end made waves in the entertainment industry and pulled audience heartstrings on social media, instantly becoming a trending topic worldwide.

“We really wanted to do it in a way that felt special and celebratory,” said Fox TV Group co-chairman and CEO Gary Newman at the network’s upfront presentation on Monday.

Meanwhile, Cowell has set up an online competition show in “Ultimate DJ,” a global electronic music series set to air on Yahoo Live! The winner will be crowned the Ultimate DJ and be offered an opportunity to headline a major Electronic Music festival and a record contract with Ultra Records and Sony Music.