Simon Cowell, who was a judge on “American Idol” from 2002 to 2010, will appear on the retrospective TV special “American Idol: American Dream,” which Fox will televise in the U.S. on April 5, 2016, at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT. Fox made the announcement on March 24, 2016. The special will include Cowell, Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul (the three original “American Idol” judges) in new interviews reflecting on their “American Idol” experiences. Other former judges and contestants from the show will also be included in the special.
“American Idol” is ending after 15 seasons due to declining ratings. The show’s two-part finale (airing on April 6 and April 7, 2016) will be a star-studded send-off with numerous former “American Idol” contestants performing. The announced performers (as of March 24, 2016) are Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, Kris Allen, Lee DeWyze, Scotty McCreery, Candice Glover, Caleb Johnson, Nick Fradiani, Ace Young, Allison Iraheta, Amber Holcomb, Blake Lewis, Bo Bice, Brandon Rogers, Bucky Covington, Carly Smithson, Casey James, Chris Daughtry, Clark Beckham, Clay Aiken, Colton Dixon, Constantine Maroulis, Danny Gokey, Diana DeGarmo, Elliott Yamin, George Huff, James Durbin, Jessica Sanchez, Josh Gracin, Joshua Ledet, Justin Guarini, Katharine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, Kimberley Locke, Kree Harrison, LaToya London, Lauren Alaina, Melinda Doolittle, Pia Toscano, Sanjaya, Skylar Laine and Tamyra Gray.
It hasn’t been announced yet if Cowell will be on stage for the “American Idol” finale. Cowell owes most of his fame to “American Idol,” but he’s been feuding with “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller for years. Fuller has sued Cowell multiple times over “The X Factor,” which Cowell launched in the U.K. in 2004. “The X Factor” has since expanded to several countries around the world, to varying degrees of success. The U.S. version of “The X Factor” was on the air from 2011 to 2013. Fox cancelled the show due to a steady decline in ratings.
Cowell became an international star because of “American Idol.” Many people believe that the show lost a lot of its appeal when he left in 2010. The ratings for “American Idol” (which used to be the U.S.’s top TV series for several years) went on a downward spiral since Cowell’s exit and never fully reached the same heights again.
In 2016, Cowell became a judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” replacing Howard Stern. Cowell (who created the “Got Talent” franchise) is also a judge on “Britain’s Got Talent” and “The X Factor” U.K.