As the winner of American Idol: The Search for a Superstar is picked tonight, one of Idol's major players may already be signing up for round two.
The Hollywood Reporter reports British music executive Simon Cowell, the show's caustic and brutally honest judge, has agreed to return for a second season of the hit reality show, which is set to broadcast on Fox early next year.
One insider told Hollywood Reporter Cowell will net at least $1 million for the second Idol installment, but the network officials would not comment officially on any figure or whether the deal with Cowell had been signed.
Cowell, who has been an executive with BMG Records for the past decade, became a celebrity on the British Pop Idol, the precursor to American Idol. His acidic put-downs became a show staple.
The other two judges, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, also are expected to return for the second season but there has been no official word yet.