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Legal settlement has 'Idol' on Fox till '09

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Legal settlement has 'Idol' on Fox till '09

Old 11-30-05, 01:24 PM
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Legal settlement has 'Idol' on Fox till '09

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051130/en_nm/idol_dc

Legal settlement has 'Idol' on Fox till '09

By Mimi Turner and Cynthia Littleton
Wed Nov 30, 3:37 AM ET

LONDON/LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - British pop moguls Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller have settled their differences, and now Fox has sealed a deal to keep "American Idol" humming on the network through at least 2009.

The two Simons were engaged in a legal battle over the Cowell-produced U.K. TV hit "X Factor" format, which Fuller claimed was a clone of his hugely popular "Pop Idol" format.

As part of the settlement, Fuller will become a part owner of "X Factor," and the two partners have struck a separate deal giving Fox the U.S. rights to "X Factor."

The settlement also cleared the way for Cowell to cut a new deal to remain with Fox's mega-hit "American Idol," which is produced by Fuller's 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia.

Fox has committed to ordering at least four more seasons of "Idol," starting with the fifth incarnation of the amateur sing-off competition series set to bow in January. The deal includes an automatic renewal option for two additional seasons so long as "Idol" hits preset ratings targets during its run in 2009.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday by 19 Entertainment's New York-based parent company, CKX Inc. -- owned by billionaire investor Robert F.X. Sillerman -- the "Idol" renewal calls for Fox to pay 19 and Fremantle an additional $18 million (on top of the show's regular seven-figure-per-episode license fee) for the roughly 40 episodes on deck for the 2006 edition of the show that airs twice a week. In 2007, the premium Fox will pay climbs to $21.5 million, rising to $35.5 million for the 2011 edition should the show run that long, according to the SEC filing.

The new pact also secures Cowell's services as a judge on "American Idol" for five more seasons, starting with the upcoming 2006 edition. And Sony BMG also has renewed its "Idol" ties as the recording home of the ultimate winners of the show. According to the SEC filing, the new arrangement calls for Sony BMG to pay 19 a higher percentage of sales from "Idol"-related recordings in the U.S. and U.K., plus a fee of $5 million per season for the next five "American Idol" editions.

The new "American Idol" deal between Fox and 19 Entertainment and Fremantle also calls for the network to order at least two additional non-"Idol" series co-produced by 19 and Fremantle. Fox also has committed to building and hosting a dedicated AmericanIdol.com Web site, with the network and "Idol" producers taking two-thirds of any Internet-generated "Idol" revenue beyond a $5 million base threshold in 2006, $7 million in 2007 and increasing thereafter, according to the SEC filing.

Moreover, the "Idol" partners have granted Fox the right to exploit the show in the emerging world of wireless media through ringtones, video clips and related services, with 19 and Fremantle taking 50% of telephony revenue above a base $3 million in 2006, $4.5 million in 2007 and increasing thereafter, according to the SEC filing.

Although it was a long, complex negotiation, Cowell stressed in an interview Tuesday that he and Fuller had managed to stay friendly through their business dispute. And now that the legal wrangling is behind them, the two are firmly focused on future projects.

"The deals that we've worked out here are as much (about) making new (non-'Idol') shows as it was about securing the future of 'American Idol,"' Cowell said. "Genuinely, everybody has come out of this with closer relationships than we had before. You don't enter into agreements of this length with people that you're going to be at loggerheads with."

Fuller launched legal action against Cowell and "X Factor" producer FremantleMedia in September 2004. The case had been due to be heard at London's High Court last week but was adjourned in preference for an out-of-court settlement.

"Simon Cowell has been a key component in the incredible success of 'American Idol,' and I am delighted to have reached an agreement that will see this relationship continue and grow over future years," Fuller said in a statement.

As for all the recent speculation that Fox aims to shift "American Idol" out of its regular Tuesday-Wednesday scheduling pattern to a time slot on Thursday, Cowell said he didn't know what the network's plans were but wasn't concerned about any possible time slot shift.

"Wherever we sit on the network, we'll be fine," Cowell said. "Regardless of where we play, our focus now must be on making the greatest shows we can, and the audience will find us."

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter


I don't watch American Idol and probably never will, but I'm sure this makes 30+ million people happy.

Chris
Old 11-30-05, 01:34 PM
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I honestly thought the steam from this show would die out in the second season, but it's still going strong. By 2009, I think everybody in the country will have had a chance to audition.
Old 11-30-05, 01:36 PM
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I swear I only think they got it right twice, Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia Barrino. Other than it's been a contest where the person with the least amount of PR baggage--wins...
Old 11-30-05, 01:41 PM
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I actually wish they'd switch over to the X-Factor format. I've been downloading the UK episodes and find it to be very similar to but more enjoyable than the Idol setup.
Old 11-30-05, 01:47 PM
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DRG,

Could you (briefly) describe the differences in the X-Factor format?
Old 11-30-05, 02:39 PM
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Although I like the auditions, both good and bad, I really hate when someone auditions as a goof. Like the girl that came on last season dressed as a mime and just soundlessly mouthed the words of a song. Go away, and stop wasting everyone's time.
Old 11-30-05, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by zebop
I swear I only think they got it right twice, Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia Barrino. Other than it's been a contest where the person with the least amount of PR baggage--wins...
You may think so with Fantasia, but the producers of the show and record producers wouldn't agree. Her CD has not been a hit by any means, as compared to Kelly, Ruben, Clay and soon to be Carrie.
Old 11-30-05, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I honestly thought the steam from this show would die out in the second season, but it's still going strong. By 2009, I think everybody in the country will have had a chance to audition.
I was hoping the same thing because this show has outstayed it's welcome.
I'm sure they will have tons more singles , by 2009, from the gazillion people that have been and will be on by them.
Old 11-30-05, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Deftones
You may think so with Fantasia, but the producers of the show and record producers wouldn't agree. Her CD has not been a hit by any means, as compared to Kelly, Ruben, Clay and soon to be Carrie.
Agreed. Kelly and Clay are the only megastars from Idol so far.
Old 11-30-05, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
DRG,

Could you (briefly) describe the differences in the X-Factor format?
Well, other than the obvious cosmetic/cultural type differences:

- Contestants are divided into three categories: 16-24, 25 and older, and Groups
- All three judges vote on the acts to get through or not in the audition stage, judge like Idol
- Instead of the "Hollywood" round, each judge is assigned a category. Simon got Groups this year, for instance, Sharon Osbourne got the 25 and olders. They individually widdle the semifinalists down to 4 apiece over the course of a few episodes.
- So when the live show starts, each judge (or 'mentor' as they call it) is represented by 4 acts from their respective division.
- For the first 7 weeks of the live portion, the audience votes, and the bottom two from this vote must perform again at the elimination show. The judges must decide who stays and who goes from the bottom two.

What I like mainly about it is the fact that it includes a bigger variety of types of acts, plus its overall less cutesy. And there is more stake for the judges to take action because of the vote, so they can't always have a Paula Abdul "everyone is a winner" attitude.

Last edited by DRG; 11-30-05 at 06:08 PM.
Old 11-30-05, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Quake1028
Agreed. Kelly and Clay are the only megastars from Idol so far.
And Clay didn't even win the thing. I'd say Clarkson is far and away the number one talent the show has produced, and they were very fortunate to get her in the first season (I mean, what if Guarini had actually won?).

Any idea what kind of contract the winners have to sign? Has Clarkson fulfilled all of her Idol obligations, so that she no longer has to appear on the show?

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