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'American Idol's' Cowell back for 3 more

July 8, 2003 at 11:33 AM

LOS ANGELES, July 8 (UPI) -- Cranky "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell has signed a three-year deal with Fox tying him to the hit reality series.

"They offered me two things I couldn't turn down," Cowell told Daily Variety. "I couldn't pass up the financial offer to do three more (editions of) 'American Idol' and the commitment to launch (a) TV production company. It wasn't a patronizing deal to shut me up. It was a really good deal."

The pact backs Cowell's new production effort, simcow ltd., and comes just days before CBS begins airing his "Cupid," another of the ubiquitous dating series.

Cowell, a longtime pop music producer and record label owner who hit it big in Britain first with "Pop Idol" before crossing the pond, said simcow will do both scripted and non-scripted fare.

The Cowell agreement keeps the "American Idol" cast intact. Fellow judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul already are under contract as is host Ryan Seacrest.

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