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DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2004�

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SIMON STILL NOT SIGNED FOR 'IDOL'; CHAOS HITS TV'S TOP SHOW
Sun Nov 20 2005 20:26:04 ET

There is still no deal to ensure that FOX will have more editions of AMERICAN IDOL with judge Simon Cowell -- and the network wants to move the nation's top-rated show to Wednesdays and Thursdays, Bill Carter is planning to report in Monday editions of the NEW YORK TIMES.

At the center of the commotion -- Brit hit show X-FACTOR -- and charges of a Simon rip-off.

Monday has been a target day in the bargaining process -- unless the two sides came to a settlement late Sunday night, Monday was to be the first day of a court case that has threatened to upend the work that Fox has put into resolving its contract issues with Cowell. The case involves a lawsuit filed in Great Britain against Cowell by Simon Fuller, whose company, 19 Entertainment, originated both IDOL and its British predecessor, POP IDOL.

Fuller sued Cowell for copyright infringement, saying that Cowell stole the format of IDOL for his X-FACTOR.

Reports Carter: Cowell would have a strong incentive to leave IDOL and sell X-FACTOR -- starring him -- to one of Fox's competitors in the United States. At least two networks, ABC and NBC, have quietly expressed interest in negotiating to acquire X-FACTOR which this season has been the most popular show on British television.

Developing...




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