New shows in the works from "Idol" creator Fuller

Fri May 16, 2008 9:32pm EDT
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By Catherine Applefeld Olson

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Could it be? The man behind the show seen in millions of TV homes each week is, himself, camera shy? "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller admits that it's true.

But from his position securely offstage, Fuller can revel in the success of "Idol" as it reaches the May 21 climax of its seventh season.

"Idol" continues to drive the Fox network to the top of the ratings. The show, for example, drew 27.8 million viewers the night of the Super Tuesday presidential primaries in February, according to Nielsen, easily outdrawing the election coverage on other networks.

The 2007 finale was seen by more than 33 million viewers, according to Nielsen, and more than 74 million people voted for winner Jordin Sparks. (In comparison, President George Bush got 62 million votes in the 2004 election, according to the Office of the Federal Register.)

From its origins as "Pop Idol" in the United Kingdom, Fuller's franchise has spread to more than 100 territories on six continents.

And with its winning formula of unknown talent, love-'em-or-hate-'em judges and viewers as voting A&R reps, the show continues to shatter traditional music industry dogma on discovering new artists.


Fuller, while clearly delighted with the success, is not one given to analytical hindsight or nostalgia.   Continued...