Idol‘s Simon Cowell Close to Signing $45 Million Deal

Simon Cowell isn't pulling a Paula Abdul just yet!

The American Idol judge will continue his run on the hit Fox show for at least three more seasons, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

CKX, the parent company of Idol's co-producer 19 Entertainment, said that Cowell is finalizing a deal with the network to continue on the top-rated reality show. Cowell, who is currently heading into the final year of his current Idol contract, hinted in the spring that he might leave the show at the end of his deal before entering into negotiations for a multi-year agreement.

"We've heard from Fox, who has asked us for approval for Simon Cowell to appear for three more years on Idol," CKX chariman Robert Sillerman said. "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." With the new contract, Cowell could reportedly earn $45 million, up from $36 million a year under his current contract.

Last week, fellow judge Abdul announced she was leaving the show after a reported salary dispute. Cowell will join judges Kara DioGuardi and Randy Jackson as well as host Ryan Seacrest — who recently signed a similar three-year $45 million contract — on the show's upcoming ninth season.

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