A new promo for X Factor was just released — and the show looks good. Though Simon Cowell insists that the format is completely different than American Idol, the truth is that wherever Simon Cowell goes — ratings will follow — format or not. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that the real “X Factor” is Simon Cowell and not some random contestant that will win five million dollars in the end. That man sure is a genius, though. He’s going to pocket hundreds of millions as the creator of a show he ripped off from Simon Fuller.
Here’s the history of the Simon Cowell v. Simon Fuller feud in a nutshell. Simon Fuller created a show in the UK called ‘Pop Idol,’ which is where Simon Cowell got his television start. At the time, the Simons were good friends. Cowell then jumped ship by creating ‘X Factor,’ which was basically a rip-off of ‘Pop Idol.’ Since Cowell was deemed a “creator” of ‘X Factor’ (a credit he did not get on Pop Idol), he received a lot more money for the new show. Fuller sued Cowell, claiming that ‘X Factor’ was a rip off of Pop Idol (which it was). The parties settled, and the settlement included Fuller getting Executive Producer credit on ‘X Factor’ (and most likely a percentage of the back-end profit). So here’s where it gets sticky. Simon Cowell pulled the same move twice, by jumping ship on ‘American Idol’ in favor of ‘X Factor’ (note: the same rule applies — Cowell stands to receive much more money because he’s a creator of ‘X Factor’ and he is not a creator of American Idol). Fuller sued, saying that according to their original settlement, he should receive Executive Producer credit on the American version of ‘X Factor.’ Are you ready for Fox’s official response? They said, “His suit seeks payment and credit as an executive producer despite his neither having been approved by the required parties, nor hired, as such. We believe this lawsuit is without merit and we expect to prevail.” Nice try, guys. It’s completely irrelevant whether the “parties” approved him as an Executive Producer or whether he actually rendered any services on the new show. What matters is his settlement. He created a show, his friend ripped him off, and he’s entitled to some dough. That’s the long and short of it.