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'American Idol' Creator Simon Fuller Sues Over 'X Factor'

By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on July 21, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Don't confuse Simon Cowell with Simon Fuller. Simon Cowell is intent on bringing the "X Factor" talent show, similar to "American Idol," stateside. On the other hand, Simon Fuller has sued over the U.S. version of the "X Factor." The "X Factor" lawsuit is about what nearly everything in Hollywood tends to boil down to - contracts.

Before we get down to the exciting world of contract disputes and contract clauses, a brief introduction and lesson in the differences between Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller may be necessary.

Do you know your Simons? Both are British. Both are heavyweights in the entertainment industry. Most Americans tend to recognize Simon Cowell as the surly judge on "American Idol." But, the other Simon - Simon Fuller - is the one who created "Idol."

The dispute originated in 2004 with the original U.K. version of the "X-Factor" and "American Idol." The Cowell's "X Factor" had been running in the U.K. for several years before Fuller's "Idol" was created, reports Reuters. Unsurprisingly, the two Simons were not pleased with two shows' similarities.

And, as a result of this original dispute, an agreement was allegedly hammered out with Fox Broadcasting Company, the network that airs "Idol" that will also air the U.S. version of "X Factor." Fuller would be granted a credit for executive producer of the "X Factor" as well as a "fee" in return for him not suing.

Fox says that Fuller shouldn't get any payment from them considering he was never hired, Bloomberg reports.

Maybe Fox - or Fuller - should read up on whatever agreement they allegedly came to terms with before. Even if Fuller was never "hired," if his agreement with Fox over the executive producer credit is valid and legitimate, Fox's argument falls a bit flat.

Of course, fans of "X Factor" that are eagerly waiting for the show's premiere in the U.S. are probably only wondering: now that Simon Fuller has sued Fox, will the show go on? The "X Factor" lawsuit probably won't delay the show. After all, it doesn't seem like Fuller is suing to stop the show from airing.

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