Fox to Order More ‘Idol’ 

With or without Simon Cowell, Fox is near a deal to order more seasons of American Idol.

The network’s current deal with Idol producer 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia extends through the end of the 2011. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network is working on a new deal that includes three seasons of Idol, though that number could still change.

Rumors have abounded that Cowell may opt out of Idol in favor of bringing his hit UK music competition series X-Factor to the States.

Cowell’s brother Tony announced this week on his podcast that Simon will leave Idol at the end of 2010.

However, before anything is finalized at the network, Cowell still needs to sign his new contract with Factor owner Sony. Once that’s out of the way, Sony will allow Cowell to make a deal with Fox to bring Factor stateside.

Fox would prefer to bundle a Factor agreement with at least another season of Cowell judging Idol, THR notes. But by quitting Idol, Cowell could make his participation on Factor a bigger event.