American Idol creator Simon Fuller: “My deals are the best in the world.”

American Idol creator Simon Fuller: “My deals are the best in the world.”
The creator of American Idol “earns far more than the 15 to 20 percent most managers keep from clients’ gross earnings,” but he says he’s not exploiting those who appear on the show, according to an AP story. Comparing his show to Phantom of the Opera, Simon Fuller says, “My deals are the best in the world. I create Phantom of the Opera and then say to Michael Crawford, ‘Let’s be 50-50 partners, or 60-40–whatever the deal is.'” An entertainment lawyer says the contracts “gave so much power and control to Simon and his organizations that there would be little a lawyer could do to prevent certain things from happening.” And a spokesperson for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists says, “It unfortunately takes two for exploitation. And in the U.S. music business, people are so desperate to get in, they’re willing to sign everything away.”
+ also: “The combined number of State of the Union viewers on the three most watched networks was nearly identical to the number of viewers for ‘American Idol.'”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.