The network is trying to tie The X Factor supremo down to a 3-year deal. Cowell said on Friday that the UK X Factor could move to January 2012 to accommodate next year’s U.S. version. ITV executives have been looking for replacements for its ratings juggernaut, which got 10.8 million viewers on Saturday. Network executives had hoped the talent show would be running out of steam by this Fall’s series 7, giving them greater bargaining power. Cowell, 50, has even coined the nickname Mr ITV because he is so powerful at the station. ITV has assured Cowell it has the extra £4 million a year he wants pumped into The X Factor. “What we’re trying to do is make better shows than we’ve done before,” Cowell told the BBC. “If we can’t do that, there’s no point in doing it.” Given that Cowell’s current £6 million a year contract expires at the end of 2010, you do wonder why it’s taken ITV this long to get their biggest star to renew. Meanwhile, Cowell is investigating getting into the movie business providing he can find the right partner. He’s miffed that Brit teen hip hop dancer George Sampson, Flawless and Diversity – acts he made stars out of Britain’s Got Talent – had a box office hit with Streetdance 3D, a Brit movie he had nothing to do with. The film has grossed $23 million worldwide so far. Cowell’s film company, which is still in its early stages, would produce music projects for acts from the Cowell stable. Indie producer Vertigo, which made Streetdance 3D, plans to shoot a sequel in the spring – but won’t say whether any of the original stars are signed up. Sounds like Simon Cowell is playing hardball already.
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