Cowell’s lucky streak continues

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TO Simon Cowell AFF Simon Cowell

LIFE is good these days for Simon Cowell (pictured). America’s Got Talent (AGT), which he created and produces, reigns as the The US’s top-rated summer programme and was renewed on Sunday for a 10th season by NBC.

It’s part of a Got Talent franchise seen in 62 countries which, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, makes it the most successful reality show yet.

Three weeks ago, he placed a good-sized bet on Germany to win the World Cup. And, to top it all off, he’s revelling in first-time father-hood with his infant son with his girlfriend, Lauren Silverman.

“He’s amazing. We’re in the Hamptons (in New York) at the moment, taking a break. He’s 5 months old, learning to swim,” Cowell said.

Family life hasn’t derailed attending to business for the British TV host and producer who’s also the music executive behind such hit acts as One Direction.

He’s pleased, if unsurprised, that NBC renewed AGT, which features Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel as judges and Nick Cannon as host. The series, a big-tent talent show for every sort of performer, has thrived while singing shows like American Idol and The Voice have suffered ratings erosion.

“There are so many music shows on at the moment, there was always going to be this problem of dilution. The whole reason we devised Talent is it was supposed to be different,” Cowell said.

He attributes its worldwide success in large part to careful handling by FremantleMedia, its co-owner and producer with Cowell’s Syco Entertainment. The show airs just once a year in each market to avoid wearing out the format’s welcome.

In contrast, he considers his US version of The X Factor singing contest a victim of overcrowding, cancelled by Fox after three seasons. Cowell said if he had to do it over again he’d insist Fox choose between it or network sibling American Idol.

“Having two shows and The Voice (on NBC) running at the same time was way too much,” he said. “If they had kept with X Factor and had more confidence in it, the show would have done what it is in the UK,” where it’s a hit.

That easy confidence may explain why he plans on returning to the arena with another singing contest. It’s been in development for about eight months and will have a new twist – he’s keeping that secret – to distinguish itself from the competition, he said.

He’ll present the idea to US networks when he thinks it’s ready, he said, along with another talent show that he’s working on that, like AGT, isn’t solely just music-related.

Might he consider another project altogether, marriage to Silverman?

“We’ll wait and see,” he replied, politely. – Sapa-AP


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