LOS ANGELES — Looks like Simon Cowell has found his next judge: Britney Spears.
After weeks of speculation, the pop star is close to signing on for the second season of Cowell’s “The X Factor” on Fox, according to published reports.
A spokeswoman for Cowell declined to comment, as did a Fox representative.
But Deadline.com says that Spears has been offered $10 million for the gig, which would put her just under the $12 million that Jennifer Lopez is making at the rival “American Idol.”
Cowell sacked judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul after the first season of “X Factor” produced lower-than-expected ratings last fall. As a recording artist who has sold more than 100 million records — as well as a longtime tabloid fixture — Spears could give the program an instant PR boost.
Meanwhile, there are signs that viewers are growing tired of “Idol.” This season, ratings for NBC’s “The Voice” have pulled even with the Fox show, which has aired every year since 2002.