As if there weren’t already enough hilarious turmoil in the TV industry this week, James Hibberd reports that Simon Cowell is quitting American Idol at the end of this season to launch a U.S. version of The X Factor on Fox in the fall of 2011. Network bosses Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly are expected to make the announcement at the Television Critic Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena this afternoon. This means American television will be Cowell-less for more than a year and that, come May, there will be a Simon-size hole at American Idol’s judges’ table. It’s not yet certain, says Hibberd, but Fox is expected to order three more seasons of Idol (even if its ratings drop, it could be a more profitable show without its most expensive star). So which unfriendly person will the network hire as his replacement? Judge Judy? The guy who played Hitler in Inglourious Basterds? Do your fantasy hiring in the comments.
Fox gets ‘X-Factor,’ Cowell quitting ‘Idol’ [Live Feed/HR]