Simon Cowell Has Already Been Replaced As Judge On His Newest Competition Series

Simon Cowell smirking on AGT
(Image credit: NBC)

Longtime TV personality Simon Cowell has made a living by judging people, on competition shows at least. Thanks to American Idol, The X Factor, America’s Got Talent and more, he's been a reality television judge for nearly two decades now. More recently, the British producer was announced to be appearing on the musical game show Walk The Line, which was produced for the U.K's ITV. However, in a new development, Cowell is already being replaced by musician Gary Barlow.

The sarcastic TV vet is still going to be part of the show, however, as he'll now serve only as both creator and executive producer. In a statement obtained by Variety, the media mogul went into more detail about his decision and his feelings on the former X Factor judge taking his place at the judges' table:

This is a situation where I have decided it is right for me to focus on my role as the creator and producer as we build up to the hugely exciting launch of the first series of our new show, Walk The Line. On that basis, I am thrilled that Gary is joining the panel. Gary’s musical pedigree is second to none — and we have known each other a long time now — so I am delighted he is picking up the baton for me for the first series of Walk The Line. I know he will do a fantastic job.

It's not surprising that the producer wanted to step down, as he is a very busy man. He's really been prioritizing his work over the past year, especially after his accident last summer. He unfortunately broke his back in at home and had a long rehab following a lengthy surgery. The AGT judge also had to step back from television while he recovered. 

While he’s now back and still judging America’s Got Talent, he still probably just wants to pace himself when it comes to his work. It's a good thing he has colleagues like Gary Barlow who he can call upon when needed.

Gary Barlow on The X Factor

(Image credit: Syco Entertainment)

On Walk The Line, various musical acts will take to the stage to perform in front of a panel of judges. Ultimately, the top two of the night must decide to go home with a cash prize or “walk the line” and play on to be crowned champion. Although there are plenty of singing competitions, this one seems to put a nice spin on the usual competition proceedings. It'll be interesting to see whether or not Simon Cowell ever does play a role in front of the camera sometime down the road.

With three seasons of the U.K.'s version of The X Factor under his belt, Gary Barlow has plenty of experience. Of course, his career as a musician is also a major qualification for the job. While fans may still hope to see Simon Cowell be a judge in the future, one would imagine that Barlow will bring his own unique perspective to the fun-sounding show. Walk The Line is set to premiere later this year on ITV.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.