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Simon Cowell Has ‘No Interest’ in Judging ‘American Idol’ Revival

Variety logo Variety 5/13/2017 JD Knapp
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American Idol” may officially be coming back on ABC, but it’s looking increasingly likely that none of the original Fox judging panel will be taking part. That’s because Simon Cowell further confirmed this week he will not be involved in next season’s reboot.

In an interview with Extra on Thursday, the former judge revealed that the network had in fact reached out to him. “I was asked to do it, and the answer is no,” Cowell admitted. “I have no interest. My memories are when we first started. It was a different time with Randy [Jackson], Ryan [Seacrest], and Paula [Abdul]. You can’t recreate that.”

Cowell even claimed to not have watched “American Idol” in its later years after he exited the reality TV show in 2010 in favor of “The X Factor.” “Last time I watched, it was not the same show, just the same name,” Cowell conceded. “I left for a reason and I never regretted that.”

As Variety has previously reported, Cowell is prevented from joining “Idol” due to his exclusive agreement at NBC, where he is a judge and executive producer for “America’s Got Talent.”

Ryan Seacrest is in advanced talks to reclaim his hosting duties now that he’s permanently set up at ABC as Kelly Ripa’s “Live” co-host. However, potential judges Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson will not be returning to the show that jump started their careers having already been cast on back-to-back seasons of “The Voice.”

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