Simon Cowell is on the brink of inking a record deal for Britain’s Got Talent, as NBC investigates the workplace culture on the U.S. version of the show, America’s Got Talent.
A source said Cowell is in the final stages of talks with ITV over a new five-year agreement for the variety show, which will be the longest deal he has done with the British broadcaster. An official announcement could be made as soon as this week.
The new contract, however, will see ITV reduce its commitment to Syco’s other format, The X Factor. The singing contest, which has suffered significant viewing declines in recent years, will only return for one more season under the fresh deal, but ITV will retain an option to bring the show back in the future.
Traditionally, Cowell has packaged up Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor in three-year ITV deals, the most recent of which was signed in 2016. But the diverging fortunes of the shows has meant a new approach to the latest agreement.
The five-year Britain’s Got Talent deal is one of the biggest commitments to an entertainment show on British television and will take the brand — co-produced by Fremantle’s Thames TV — into its 18th season. Cowell serves as a judge on the format, which is hosted by British duo Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.
It comes as America’s Got Talent is at the center of a firestorm in the U.S., with NBC investigating Gabrielle Union’s complaints of a “toxic” workplace culture on the show. Deadline reported over the weekend that Cowell has retained Los Angeles-based litigator Larry Stein as the NBC probe continues.
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