News. Corp.-owned Fox television announced Tuesday that it has reached a deal with owner CKX Inc. to renew the ever popular “American Idol” series for another four seasons. British mainstay judge Simon Cowell, amid rumors of a possible departure, has signed for another five seasons with the option of adding the remaining one somewhere down the road.
American Idol Returns
According to Reuters Online, part of the agreement entitles Fox to exclusive rights for two new reality-based shows produced by 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia within the next five years. Fox is set to offer a new website for the show that will feature footage and content provided by 19 Entertainment, a subsidiary of CKX Inc., and FremantleMedia.
Cowell also announced that a suit with British pop star Simon Fuller has been resolved, leaving him the freedom to renew his “Idol” contract. Fuller sued for copyright infringement, asserting that Cowell’s proposed “X-Factor” show was a rip off of “Idol” and Fuller’s original idea. Cowell told Britain’s “Daily Mirror” that he is “delighted with the outcome” of the settlement but would not disclose the terms.
The new “Idol” season is set to debut in January 2006 and will possibly move to the coveted Thursday night position suggests Fox. A finalized schedule has yet to be announced.