Simon Cowell will either leave American Idol next year or stay three more years, reports say

American Idol 9 will be Simon Cowell’s final season, according to the judge’s brother, unless the CEO of the company that owns the show is right, in which case Simon is staying through American Idol 11.

On his podcast, The Cowell Factor, Tony Cowell said, “Meanwhile, Simon prepares for a new season of Idol — or should I say, his last season of Idol. As I sit here with my family in the sunny Caribbean, a press statement is being prepared, which will confirm what everyone expected: Simon will leave Idol at the end of 2010 to concentrate on bringing the American version of X Factor to U.S. TV in 2011.” MJ has the original podcast, if you’d like to listen to the whole thing.

But CKX CEO Robert Sillerman told MTV News that his company, which produces the show, said, “We’ve heard from Fox, who has asked us for approval for Simon Cowell to appear for three more years on ‘Idol.’ They, in their negotiations with Cowell, have asked us to pre-approve him not only for ‘American Idol’ ’09, which has begun taping, but they have also asked us for approval for ’10 and ’11, indicating to us that they’re finishing their negotiation with Cowell. We did grant approval for that, quite obviously.”

Whatever the announcement will be, Simon is prepping by giving the world a holiday present: his cleavage.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.