Switching shows: Where is Simon Cowell judging next?

Simon Cowell has judged contestants on 'American Idol' and 'The X-Factor,' and now jumps to a show he helped create: NBC's 'America's Got Talent.'

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP/File
Simon Cowell poses for photographers at the Elle Style Awards in London in 2015.

Simon Cowell is returning as a reality competition judge on American television.

Mr. Cowell, who most TV viewers know from the singing competition “American Idol,” is reportedly taking Howard Stern’s place as a judge on NBC’s competition “America’s Got Talent.” 

Cowell co-created the show, which debuted in 2006, with Ken Warwick and Jason Raff, so he’s more than familiar with how it works.

In addition to “Idol,” he has served as a judge on Fox’s “The X Factor” and the British version of that program.

Nick Cannon hosts the show and the other judges are currently Howie Mandel of “Deal or No Deal,” former Spice Girls member Mel B, and Heidi Klum of the reality fashion design competition “Project Runway.”

Cowell's trademark, biting critical remarks, offended some viewers while delighting others.

He is partly responsible for one of the most popular American talent competitions of all time and one that dominated pop culture for years.

Prior to his television days, Cowell was a talent scout and music producer. He produced and helped judge the British TV series “Pop Idol,” which debuted in 2001, and he then helped bring it to America as “American Idol,” debuting a year later.

“American Idol” became a huge hit, spawning such stars as Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood and anchoring Fox's lineup for years.

The draw of “American Idol” has waned over the years, however. Cowell and original judges Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson have all departed, and Fox recently announced that the upcoming season of the show will be its last. 

Cowell stumbled with the program “The X Factor.” A British version had proven popular with viewers – the twist was that groups or solo artists could audition (the group One Direction came from the British show). The American version of “X” debuted on Fox while “Idol” was still on the air, and Cowell served as a judge with various others who rotated in and out. Ratings declined sharply over the three seasons of the show, and it was canceled in 2014. 

“America's Got Talent” is still performing well for NBC, however.

For the most part, reality competitions that are still on television are long-running programs with proven pull. Programs like “Survivor” and “The Bachelor” debuted in the early 2000s, and even the hit show “Dancing With the Stars” debuted more than 10 years ago, while “Talent” has been on almost as long. NBC’s “The Voice” and ABC’s “Shark Tank” are some of the few newer shows that have broken through, with “Tank” having come on the air in 2009 and “Voice” having debuted in 2011. 

It may be telling, then, that Cowell is coming aboard an existing show as a judge rather than creating another new one of his own.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Switching shows: Where is Simon Cowell judging next?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today