'American Idol': FOX wants more seasons, even sans Simon Cowell

idol10group.jpgDespite rumors of Simon Cowell's impending departure, FOX is reportedly finalizing a deal to order three more seasons of "American Idol" according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.

"American Idol" is already slated to air through 2011. The network's new reported deal would keep the show on the air until 2014, bringing "Idol" to a grand total of 13 seasons. Though the number of seasons ordered could certainly change. Cowell's "X Factor" is tentatively scheduled for a 2011 release.

Speculation over Cowell's departure from "Idol" after this 2010 season heated up after brother Tony Cowell announced Simon's exit on his weekly podcast. If the Simon rumors ring true (which we hope they don't) then "Idol 2011" will be nearly unrecognizable from the original series. Would the format go to Randy, Ellen and Kara as the judges or would they replace Cowell? And who could possibly replace Simon Cowell?

What do all of you "Idol" fantatics think? Can the show move forward sans Cowell? Is FOX making a smart move by ordering more seasons without seeing how the show fares without him? Is this all much ado about nothing because Cowell will ultimately stay with the show?

FOX says they have no comment.

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Photo credit: FOX