Despite months of diva-like public waffling about whether he'd return home to terrorize the English, Simon Cowell will be sticking around as head villain on ''American Idol'' for three more seasons. Fox announced Monday that not only had the network retained his services as outspoken talent judge, but it was also signing a first-look deal on any series he might create, including a blind commitment to air at least one Cowell creation.
Terms of the deal weren't revealed, but Cowell himself, appearing recently on Howard Stern's show, didn't deny that he'd been offered $10 million to stick around. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he'll get a raise to $150,000 per episode of ''Idol.''
As recently as this weekend, when the Los Angeles Times prepared an article about the new Cowell-produced CBS dating show ''Cupid'' (which premieres Wednesday night), Cowell told the paper his ''Idol'' status was still up in the air. But Fox Television Entertainment chairman Sandy Grushow told the New York Daily News the network was committed to Cowell. ''Simon Cowell has a unique voice and point of view that obviously resonates all over America,'' Grushow said. ''That means we'll have to put up with him for years to come.''