Simon Cowell quitting after American Idol 9; Ryan Seacrest hosting the Emmys

American Idol judge Simon Cowell will leave the show after its ninth season, which will air in 2010, The Mirror reports.

“There has to come a point when I will step down from being on camera and remain behind the scenes because you can’t keep doing this for ever. I have three more seasons under contract with American Idol and that will be it. And it will probably come at the same time in the UK. I am contracted for another two or three seasons in Britain and I think by that point the public will be sick to death of me anyway and it will be time to go,” he said.

Simon, who the paper says smokes “10 to 15 Kool menthol cigarettes a day,” repeats that just to make sure we know he’s serious. “Three years and that’s it — I will do what I’ve always done. 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. I’ve been lucky, but I also know when not to outstay my welcome.”

And he also knows how to jump off a sinking ship at the right time. While Idol‘s ratings were down last season, the show isn’t going anywhere soon, but seems on the verge of becoming less than a phenomenon. If that doesn’t happen before Simon leaves, it certainly will after he’s gone.

Meanwhile, another one of the show’s cast members, Ryan Seacrest, continues to accumulate new jobs: In addition to hosting the Super Bowl, he’ll now host the Emmys on Sept. 16. The telecast was at one point was going to be produced by Idol‘s producers, but they backed out.

FOX will air the Academy Awards this year, and Variety reports that “Seacrest was always a contender, but initially the net was concerned with overexposure.” However, because “Fox doesn’t have a weeknight talkshow star … Seacrest’s experience in clocking countless hours hosting TV’s No. 1 program made him the most logical candidate at Fox.” That’s definitely true: Just watch any other talent show knock-off to see how effortlessly and smoothly Ryan hosts live television.

For the Emmys, Ryan said that there will be changes, especially since he’s not a comedian. “I don’t feel like I need to do a song and dance and 15 minutes of jokes. The way I’m looking at the whole show, it’s about elevating everyone on their night, as opposed to making it my night … I’m not going to pretend to be something I’m not. I plan to honor the class and the heritage of the Emmy,” he said.

Cowell: I’m quitting [The Mirror]
Seacrest to host Superbowl on FOX and Seacrest to host Emmys [Variety]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.