Simon Cowell to leave Idol

Acerbic host to shift his attention to American version of The X Factor

Simon Cowell will leave American Idol to do a show for the same network. The acerbic musical judge will be stepping down after the new season of American Idol (premiering this week) to launch a U.S. version of his U.K. show The X-Factor, which seeks to identify performers who have the intangible quality that makes a star. Next season’s Idol will go on without Simon (but with new judge Ellen DeGeneres) while Simon will return to Fox with The X-Factor in 2011. And who will be his co-judges? It hasn’t been announced yet, but while signing his new contract at the Television Critics’ Association panel today, he did mention that he loves Paula Abdul and will continue to work with her in some capacity, “Because I miss her.”

E! Online