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Stars Lining Up to Replace Simon, Says 'Idol' Producer

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Jan. 13 2010, Published 2:08 p.m. ET

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While some American Idol fans are still reeling from Monday's announcement that resident grump Simon Cowell will be vacating his seat the judges' table at the end of this season, the hit show's creator isn't worried about having to find a replacement for the ornery Brit, because, he claims, celebs are lined up to take his spot.

"A day doesn't pass that I don't get a call from an agent of a superstar saying, 'Can we talk?'" Idol creator Simon Fuller tells the Associated Press. "Everyone's interested, and that's going to go on month after month."

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Calm words from a man who most recently had to fill a seat left vacant by the exit of loopy judge, former pop star Paula Abdul. Of course, Fuller didn't succeed in finding just anyone to step in, he locked up TV talk show queen Ellen DeGeneres.

"It's a testament to Idol that we attracted someone as brilliant as Ellen," he explains to the AP. "When we have to do something about Simon, I'll be in the luxury position of looking at all the greatest stars of the world... We can do so much with it."

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Speaking of Ellen, the comedienne finally began working on Idol this week as the Hollywood Round, where all those early auditioners who earned Golden Tickets get whittled down to the much smaller group of semifinalists, kicks off.

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