Simon Cowell Leaving “American Idol”

After much speculation, Simon Cowell has officially announced that he'll leave the Fox juggernaut after the 2010 season.

Sad as it will be to see the razor-tongued Brit go, this makes the addition of Ellen DeGeneres to the judges' panel that much more important and exciting. She'll get to be the comic relief now that Cowell won't be groaning "That was like watching a pig mate with a baboon and they're both tone deaf and I hate your face."

Fox says they'll "take their time" to find a suitable replacement for Cowell, who'll focus on bringing his British hit "The X Factor" to America. Right now Piers Morgan, the Simon of "America's Got Talent," seems the most likely contender. Fans can be assured, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi aren't going anywhere.

Cowell leaves behind a $36 million annual salary on "American Idol" and owns the rights to "The X Factor." That means, whether or not he appears on television ever again, he can spend the rest of his life diving into a pool of money and swimming around like Scrooge McDuck without a care in the world.

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