Idol idea lawsuit appeal rejected; court says distributed idea wasn’t “a trade secret.”

Idol idea lawsuit appeal rejected; court says distributed idea wasn’t “a trade secret.”
An appeals court has denied an appeal filed by a man who claimed FOX and American Idol‘s producers stole the show idea from him. Earlier, “[a] federal judge in 2003 dismissed Harry Keane Jr.’s claim without hearing it and ordered him to pay Fox Television Stations Inc.’s legal fees of nearly $130,000,” the AP reports. The appeals court had a lesson for all of you who think you have the best reality TV show idea ever: keep it to yourself (and please, for the love of all things beautiful, don’t e.mail me about it). Even if Keane hypothetically created the show, the decision said that “[b]ecause Keane sent out unsolicited letters, which detailed the specifics of his idea, to several different production companies and advertised his idea on the Internet, the district court correctly found that he cannot demonstrate that he had a trade secret.”

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.