Simon Cowell 'excited' by judging job on America's Got Talent
Music mogul Simon Cowell has said he is "excited" about heading back to American television as a judge on America's Got Talent.
The X Factor supremo will re place US shock jock Howard Stern on the panel of NBC's summertime series, which he created.
He will also retain his executive producer status.
Speaking to USA Today, Cowell said: "About five or six years ago, I was offered the chance to be on the show and, at the time, I couldn't do it. But I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't able to."
The star added: "I think at the point we really knew Howard wasn't going to come back, we then had serious conversations with NBC. I thought, 'I think this is the right time.' I'm excited about it."
The US network said Cowell will start next season, but it will not affect his commitment to ITV shows Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor.
Cowell announced the news on Twitter with a post that read: "The good news is America's Got Talent is back next year and the even better news is so am I!"
It was his acidic commentary on American Idol that launched him into super stardom across the Atlantic.
When he left American Idol after the 2010 season, it was still one of US television's top shows.
The 56-year-old will begin his stint on America's Got Talent shortly after American Idol, which has been cancelled after 13 years, goes off the air for the final time in 2016.
America's Got Talent still commands solid viewing figures, even as ratings for other reality shows have fallen.
"What I love about this show is that it's open to absolutely anyone," Cowell said. "America has some fantastic talent just waiting to be discovered, and I would like that talent to come to our show, including any dogs who can sing."
The X Factor boss has not served as a judge on American TV since his US version of ITV's X Factor ended in 2013.
Cowell praised America's Got Talent's judges: former Spice Girl Mel B, supermodel Heidi Klum and US TV personality Howie Mandel even as he admitted to having "no idea" if they will be returning.
The current host of the show is Nick Cannon, ex-husband of singer Mariah Carey.
In a statement, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt welcomed Cowell to his new role on America's Got Talent.
"Simon knows this format better than anyone and he's been producing the show with us since the beginning, so we're thrilled to have him to step in front of the camera and take his rightful place at the head of the judges' panel," he said.