A kinder, gentler, Cowell-less ‘Idol’ debuts

NEW YORK — It’s a kinder "American Idol" without Simon Cowell.

Television’s top show returned Wednesday with a makeover for its 10th season on Fox. Cowell, everyone’s favorite villain, is gone as a judge. So are Kara DioGuardi and Ellen DeGeneres, replaced with the star power of Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. Original judge Randy Jackson remains.

The first, two-hour episode accentuated the positive, an indication that producers are setting a different tone.

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