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It's Simon vs. Simon in a battle of music industry titans.

Simon Fuller, the creator of American Idol, has filed a legal complaint against Fox Broadcasting and FremantleMedia. At issue is former Idol host Simon Cowell's forthcoming U.S. version of the British hit, The X Factor.

Fuller says the companies failed to honor an agreement from a previous copyright lawsuit he filed against Cowell's rival reality show in the UK in 2005.

  • Simon Fuller Pic
  • Cowell Smirks

In that legal saga, Fuller claimed Cowell, with whom he has an uneasy relationship at best, stole his idea for the series.

Fuller's publicist said that he filed a legal complaint Fox and FremantleMedia's "refusal to honor a 2005 contract that granted Mr. Fuller an executive producer credit and fees on The X Factor television program in the U.S."

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Simon Cowell just wants to make your dream come true.

He wants to mold every contestant on The X Factor, give them a positive critique and build their confidence so they have a long, successful career. After all, as he says in the following extended promo for his new Fox series: "It's not about me anymore."

JUST KIDDING!

Following a subdued intro, the preview that premiered during last night's Major League Baseball All-Star game features Simon at his snarkiest, Nicole Scherzinger at her leggiest and Paula Abdul at her... Paula Abdul-est. Get your first look at L.A. Reid and host Steve Jones above and decide: Can this compete with The Voice and American Idol?

Are you excited for The X-Factor?

 

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Simon Cowell says Cheryl Cole is "one of [his] closest friends."

This may come as a surprise, considering the pop singer was just let go from her judging gig on The X-Factor, but Cowell says the move was made with Cole's well-being in mind.

“Not many people will believe that, but that’s the truth,” Cowell told The Associated Press today. “She was good on the American show, [but] I personally thought she was missing her family and friends. She just looked... not as happy as I’ve seen her on previous shows.”

At X-Factor Auditions

Now, Cole is off both versions of the competition. Simon says the plan was to keep her on the British version, but then word of her American firing got out and "things went south... fast."

Has he spoken to her since the debacle? Yes, via text message.

“She told me she wasn’t happy but that she also accepted it was a business decision and she wished the show well. Typically, in Cheryl form, she was disappointed but charming at the same time.

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With its full cast of judges and hosts assembled, The X-Factor has released its first, official, extended promo.

In the video below, Simon Cowell hypes the largest prize ever handed out for a reality show ($5 million!), while the names and images of the stars associated with the competition flash across the screen: Cheryl Cole! Nicole Scherzinger! Paula Abdul!

Will you be tuning in this fall? The X-Factor will air twice per week on Fox, American Idol-style, with a performance show and a results show. Check out the 90-second trailer now:

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Nicki Minaj is out. Might Nicole Scherzinger be in?

The hip hop star will not judge The X-Factor, but Simon Cowell himself sounds very close to naming the former Pussycat Doll as the second judge on his upcoming singing competition.

"I want her to do it, but we've got to get the deal done and find someone she has chemistry with," Cowell tells TV Guide. "I absolutely adore her. She was fantastic on the U.K. X Factor and I'm hopeful it will happen."

Former Pussycat Doll

Cowell says Cheryl Cole is in the mix and also explains his connection to L.A. Reid, who has been confirmed for the panel.

"I met him approximately fifteen years ago when he'd launched Pink for the first time. He put on a show and got every single person in the room to believe this person was a star. The way he presented her with his passion drew me to him and was a big part of why I chose him to be on the show. A "yes" or "no" from L.A. Reid should really mean something to the contestants."

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She's been mocked endlessly on the Internet, but Rebecca Black has a major fan in... Simon Cowell?!?

Yes, the formerly harsh American Idol judge and world famous record producer says he's a big fan of this 13-year old, who has endured one hateful comment after another from anyone who has listened to the single "Friday."

"I love her [and] the fact that she's gotten so much publicity," Cowell tells People. "People are so upset about the song, but I think it's hysterical... I want to meet her. Anyone who can create this much controversy within a week, I want to meet. I love people like that."

Simon has other business on the mind these days, too: he's bringing The X Factor to Fox in the fall and will soon be announcing stars to join L.A. Reid on the judges' table.

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Might Simon Cowell have discovered the female version of Justin Bieber?

While the music mogul typically uses his reality show forums to find the next big superstar - coming this fall, X Factor! - he was reportedly so impressed with a 10-year old named Heather Russell that he offered her a contract solely based on a couple YouTube videos.

"Simon just loved her," said a source at Cowell's record label. "He said she was amazingly-talented from the first time he saw her."

Russell hails from Canada and writes her own songs. Listen to one here:

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It won't premiere until the fall, but Fox is already starting to push The X Factor.

A commercial aired for the upcoming competition during Super Bowl XLV, and producer Simon Cowell took part in a conference call with reporters yesterday, talking to us about the show's massive grand prize, among other topics.

On the $5 million prize: "The money rightly puts an enormous amount of pressure on people... it's a massive, massive risk. But it's also an incredible incentive."

Might Paula Abdul judge? "I'm a massive fan of Paula's. When you work with somebody as long as I did with Paula... we were friends 80 percent of the time and interestingly, we've been in contact (after 'Idol'). I'm not going to say on this call who we are going to confirm or not confirm, but we're talking to a number of people."

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Simon Cowell is not exactly a man who specializes in subtlety.

The former American Idol judge returned to the airways during Super Bowl XLV with a commercial that didn't merely announce, "He's Back." It did so in grand, god-like fashion.

Cowell then revealed plans to award the winner of this fall's The X Factor with the biggest cash prize in reality show history: $5 million.

Speaking on the difference between The X Factor and Idol, Simon said in a statement today:

“I like the idea that a 12-year-old on this show can compete with an older singer and a singing group. I’ve never believed there should be a cut-off age for talent, and we are going to put our money where our mouths are with the $5 million recording contract. I’m doing this show in America because I genuinely believe we can find a superstar.”

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The Hoff is taking off.

David Hasselhoff, who was let go from America's Got Talent last season in favor of Howie Mandell, has signed on to replace Simon Cowell on the British version of this reality competition.

"David is super excited about the move [to England]," an insider tells Pop Eater. "He's in London over the holidays going theater and looking at apartments for when he moves full-time early next year."

It's the Hoff!

Things are looking good for Hasselhoff these days, as his family's reality show premiered on A&E last week.

"It's a brand-new start for David and he couldn't be more exited," says a friend. "His new reality show is bound to be a hit and now he is returning to TV in the show that found Susan Boyle. What could be bigger than that?"

Nothing. Absolutely nothing could be bigger than that.