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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Cowell to launch US talent show
Simon Cowell
Cowell made his name as a pop music mogul
Simon Cowell is launching a new talent show on US TV, which sees contestants compete for a $1 million prize.

Cowell, best known to US audiences for his role as a judge on American Idol, said the NBC show, entitled America's Got Talent, would be "open to anybody".

"You can be 2 years old, 100 years old. You can be the next Destiny's Child, the next Jackson 5 or you can be the next David Copperfield," said Cowell.

The TV producer announced plans to make a similar show for ITV last year.

At the time, Cowell said the UK show would resemble the 1970s US programme The Gong Show. Last December ITV said it was "in discussions" regarding a future series.

'A-list' celebrities

Auditions for America's Got Talent will begin next month in cities including Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta. No date for transmission has been given.

Cowell, whose company Syco produced hit British talent contest The X Factor, will not be appearing as a judge on the new show but said he had lined up some "A-list" celebrities.

Participants will learn who makes the shortlist at auditions held across the US, followed by further "brutal" dismissals at the semi-finals stage in Los Angeles, said Cowell.

He dismissed speculation that the show would bear any resemblance to The Entertainer, which ran on E! television in the US last year. "I hated it," he said.

It is not Cowell's first venture into US TV production. The entertainment mogul is currently producing American Inventor for the ABC network.

American Idol is shown on the Fox network.

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