May 11, 2010
Posted: 01:05 PM ET
by Michael Slezak
With only three weeks and six episodes left in Simon Cowell's "American Idol" tenure, don't be surprised if rumors and speculation about his season 10 replacement begin to intensify. But under the heading of "don't believe everything you read," a show source tells EW that Cowell's successor will not be named until after the May 26 season finale.
That, of course, also means no bombshell announcement at Fox's May 17 upfronts presentation, when the network will unveil its fall schedule to advertisers.
The delay in finalizing such a crucial decision makes sense on several levels. For starters, any replacement announcement before month's end would steal some of the spotlight away from the show's current crop of contestants, not to mention Cowell's role in the season 9 finale extravaganza.
What's more, Fox and "Idol" will score plenty of free publicity as debate over Cowell 2.0 turns into a popular summer sport, one that should keep water cooler buzz alive for the reality juggernaut during its seven-month hiatus from the airwaves.
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