Cowell cozies up to Fox

'Idol' meanie makes most of net

Simon Cowell is beefing up his relationship with News Corp., inking an exclusive five-year overall deal with the conglom’s Fox TV Studios division.

Pact comes in the wake of Cowell’s recent decision to reup for five more seasons as a judge on “American Idol,” the reality smash that airs on studio sibling Fox Broadcasting. FTVS topper Angela Shapiro-Mathes announced the agreement late Thursday.

Under the deal, Cowell and his Syco label develop and produce programming for the studio. Pact covers everything from traditional TV skeins to digital and mobile platforms.

Cowell is already working on a musical-themed reality concept for Fox that, if greenlit, will be produced by FTVS.

Neither the studio nor Cowell’s reps would confirm financial details of the pact, but it’s a given it numbers in the seven-figure range and possibly enters into eight-figure territory over the five-year frame.

Shapiro-Mathes said Cowell has “the charisma and grit to back up his opinions about what makes for compelling entertainment” as well as “a concrete track record and a keen eye for talent.”

Cowell issued an un-Simon Cowell-like statement heaping over-the-top praise on what he called “the Fox family.”

Deal with Cowell is one of several high-profile pacts FTVS has struck since Shapiro-Mathes took over and fits into the exec’s stated goal of turning the company into a major supplier of both scripted and nonscripted programming.

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