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"American Idol" creator sues Fox over "The X-Factor"

Simon Fuller poses at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star presentation ceremony on May 23, 2011, in Los Angeles. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

(CBS) "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller is suing Fox, claiming he should be paid a hefty fee over the network's newest talent competition series, "The X-Factor."

According to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Fuller claims he negotiated an executive producer fee and credit on "The X-Factor" as part of a settlement of a 2004 copyright infringement lawsuit against former "Idol" (and upcoming "X-Factor") judge Simon Cowell when "X-Factor" launched in the U.K.

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Fox, which airs "Idol" and will also air "The X-Factor" when it premieres in September, and Fremantle North America, which produces both shows, are now refusing to honor that deal, the suit alleges.

"Fox and Fremantle made hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to the creative efforts of Fuller," the suit states, according to THR. "Now, when it is time to finally perform on these unequivocal promises, Fox and Fremantle refuse to provide Fuller his executive producer credit for Defendants' new television show, 'The X Factor,' and refuse to pay Fuller and executive producer fee 'commesurate with his duties and stature in the entertainment industry.' Defendants refusal to honor their promises made to Fuller is particularly malicious given that but for Fuller's agreement, the 'X Factor' show would not be able to broadcast in the United States at all."

When Cowell launched "X-Factor," Fuller sued, claiming the show was a rip-off of "American Idol." Fox helped broker a settlement in 2005, which kept Cowell on "Idol" for five more seasons and gave him a bigger stake in the show's franchise, in exchange for keeping "X-Factor" out of the U.S. until 2011.

Cowell honored the agreement and left "American Idol" in 2010, and will helm "The X-Factor" as its producer and judge when the show makes its American debut.

A representative for Fox told THR: "Mr. Fuller has not been hired, nor performed any duties, on the U.S. version of 'The X Factor.' 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."

Read more here.

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