Top reality star and producer Simon Cowell and his music, TV and film company Syco Entertainment have signed with WME. The agency will work on continuing to expand Syco’s film, scripted and unscripted television departments as well as its music brands.
For the past 14 years, since then-UK record executive Cowell made his U.S. debut as a judge on Fox’s American Idol, he had been at CAA, which packaged and sold multiple unscripted series from Cowell including America’s Got Talent to NBC and The X Factor to Fox, as well as a few feature projects to Sony. NBC recently announced that Cowell will join the judging panel of AGT, which he co-created and executive produces, next season.
Cowell became a household name and instant reality megastar in the U.S. as an original judge on American Idol where he starred for nine seasons before departing to launch The X Factor on Fox. In the past couple of years, Cowell has been based primarily in his native UK, where he is a judge on his Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor.
Syco’s Got Talent is considered the most successful TV format ever, airing in more than 186 countries worldwide and holding the Guinness Book of World Records title for highest number of local adaptations in 68 countries. The X Factor airs in a total of 168 countries with 56 local versions. Artists discovered by The X Factor have sold more than 180 million records worldwide, including 200 No. 1s, and 380 Top 10 records.
Syco Music is home to a number of successful artists including One Direction, Fifth Harmony, Little Mix, Il Divo, Ella Henderson, Labrinth, Susan Boyle, Olly Murs and breakout artist of 2015, Fleur East. Those repped by CAA, including One Direction, are expected to stay there for talent agency services.
Syco extended into feature films with the 2013 One Direction 3D documentary This Is Us. Earlier this year, Syco teamed up with Kenny Ortega on a music-driven film set up at Sony Pictures. Additionally, Syco Film has inked a development deal with Animal Logic (animation and visual effects studio behind The Lego Movie and Happy Feet). Their first project is described as a unique music animated film franchise.