This post has been updated. See below for details.
Not so long ago, Simon Cowell was probably the most powerful man on American TV.
His cranky, caustic judging had helped make "American Idol" an invincible No. 1 hit. As a producer, he makes "America's Got Talent" and similar shows that have long been top sellers around the world. He ranked No. 17 on Forbes' 2013 Celebrity 100 list, with estimated annual pay of $95 million, and famously predicted that his own "The X Factor" on Fox would hammer "Idol," the singing contest he left in a storm of publicity in 2010.
And now? The hanging judge has fled the stage like a bad...