Simon Cowell to Quit 'American Idol'...In Three Years
A few days back, Simon Cowell announced that after the 2010 season of American Idol, he will leave the show that made him famous.  Cowell says that he will turn his attentions to his music and television companies, and even begin making movies.  Cowell said, “I run a record label, I run a TV company, we're making movies now - I love that part of my life. I probably get more satisfaction from making a show than being on a show.” 

The decision to do only three more seasons of American Idol isn't an arbitrary one: he has three more left on his contract.  While this may be a disappointment to fans of Idol, it's also probably a good thing.  No one likes to hold on to a high-profile gig for too long, especially when it happens to be a gig on the biggest show in television history.  This does bring up some interesting questions.  Can Idol survive without Simon Cowell?  And, will Idol last past 10 seasons anyway? 

Simon Cowell is clearly an integral part of the American Idol franchise.  He's the most honest judge, a willing antagonist that is the only person to cut down a young singer in front of millions of people.  Without him, the entire dynamic of Idol changes.  If and when Cowell departs, who will be a worthy successor?  It's going to be difficult finding someone who is as disarmingly honest as Cowell without them doing a straight imitation.  If I were FOX, I would hire a judge who retains the ability to not pull punches, yet with a persona far removed from Cowell's.

My prediction is that when Cowell leaves, Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul will depart as well, whether they like it or not.  FOX would be wise to make a clean break and start fresh with a whole new batch of judges, if only to cause some excitement for season 11, if there is one.  

American Idol has shown no chinks in the armor just yet.  It's gone past the point of simply being a fad.  If Idol shows signs of slowing down during season ten, though, it might be wise for FOX just to pull the plug.  Ten years is a good run for anything.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
Source: The Mirror
(Image Courtesy of FOX)