Ian Derry/ FOX
FOX launched promos for Simon Cowell's upcoming fall talent show "The X Factor," which will award the winner with a record-breaking $5 million record deal -- the largest guaranteed prize in television history, during Super Bowl this past Sunday. Now ET talks to the Brit wit to try to get the answer to the question on everybody's mind: Will Paula Abdul be joining him on the judges' dais?
"I am a massive fan of Paula," the former "American Idol" judge says. "It is quite unusual, when you work with somebody for as long as I did with Paula, we were friends on the show for, I would say, 80 percent of the time. Interestingly afterwards, we have been in regular contact. I am not going to say today on this call who we are going to confirm or not confirm. The truth is, we honestly haven't made our minds up yet. We are talking to a number of people. I will make an announcement in, I would say, three to four weeks. It might be a bit longer."
One of the biggest differences between "The X Factor" and "American Idol" or "America's Got Talent" is that the judges will actually work with three finalists each and make decisions as to what the competitors will sing, how they will sing it and more.
"That means you have to work with them up to five or six days a week," Simon points out. "So, I need to find someone willing to make that commitment because it is hard work. …It is important to me that I have people I can trust in terms of their expertise and their gut feeling. It is a difficult decision when you are putting a team around you. I also think it is important on show like this that you have people who are competitive with each other because essentially, the judges are taking part in this competition as well as the competitors."
As for his opinion on how Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are doing on "American Idol," Simon says, "I haven't seen a full episode [of 'American Idol'] yet. I saw a three-minute sort-of recap last week. From what I have seen and heard, it all seems to be going well. I always thought that would be the case. What I was more concerned about was the ratings falling off the cliff meaning that the whole genre was over. The good news is that people are still excited about these shows."