01/11/2010 at 12:00 AM EST
First Paula, now Simon.
At the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., American Idol
judge Simon Cowell
announced that he is leaving the show to focus on a new talent search, The X Factor
"The X Factor
will launch in 2011," Cowell told reporters Monday. "Because of that, this will be my last season on American Idol
Cowell, who launched The X Factor
in the U.K., will serve as the executive producer and judge of the American version, according to a press release from FOX.
“I’m thrilled that we have put a date on the launch of the U.S. version of The X Factor
, and delighted to be continuing to work with FOX,” Cowell said in a statement. “We have a fantastic relationship, a great team and are all very excited about this."Paula Abdul
, the first American Idol
judge to leave the show, announced her departure
with a tweet last August. She has been replaced
by Ellen DeGeneres
As for whether Abdul could be a judge on the new show, Cowell said, "I adore Paula. Whatever happens, I will be working with her in some capacity. Because I miss her."
Season 9 of American Idol
premieres Tuesday (8 p.m. EST) on FOX.Tell us: Will you watch American Idol without Simon Cowell? Will you watch The X Factor?