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Simon Says This is His Last Season on "Idol"

Brother knows best. At least that's the case with "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell, who told the nation's television critics in Pasadena, Calif. today that this will be his last season on the popular Fox reality show.

His older brother Tony had said as much a few weeks ago.

Cowell told critics today he will concentrate on another reality show that he created, "The X Factor," and added that he didn't want to leave "Idol" when its ratings were fading.

The departure of Cowell will just about assure that the ratings of "Idol" will fade after this season.

Fox can talk all it wants about potential replacements, but replacing Cowell would seemingly be an impossible task. Anyone who would try to duplicate his brutal honesty would look like a pale imitation of the original.

Cowell's willingness to leave a job that reportedly pays him $36 million a year also suggests that he realizes the show is destined to fade soon.

I suspect the show will go on for at least one more season after Cowell leaves, but after that it could be in trouble unless Fox refuses to admit that all TV shows except "The Simpsons" and "Law & Order" inevitably fade away.

-- Alan Pergament   

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