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Monday January 11, 2010 2:41 pm

Simon Cowell Leaving American Idol

American Idol judges

Was it something Ellen DeGeneres said?

Although hasn’t officially started, we already know how the season is going to end: with a goodbye to Simon Cowell.

FOX execs - with help from Cowell himself - officially announced today that the judge we love and/or hate will be leaving the program after the next winner is crowned. Simon, as rumored, will focus his attention to an American version of . (It was the British program that helped launched Susan Boyle’s career.)

Cowell will serve as both executive producer and judge on the series launching in Fall 2011. If other rumors prove true, we could also see his former coworker, , sitting right there beside him.

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