Trouble, trouble in paradise....TV TUG OF WAR: It's Ellen vs Simon, And 'American Idol' vs 'X Factor', As Tommy Mottola Is First Choice To Judge Both Shows (And Paula Is Involved, Too)
By NIKKI FINKE Monday January 25, 2010 @ 6:27pm
It was American Idol's newest judge Ellen DeGeneresí first day of taping the Hollywood segment, and she was excited and nervous, sources tell us. But then that turned to anger. Because, our insiders say, Simon Cowell was an hour and a half late for the taping. And Ellen stewed while she waited. She had reason: to accomodate both her talk show hosting duties and her American Idol judging duties, she had moved up her schedule so that now she shot the talk show earlier in the day and then jumped in the car to go to Idol. She was on time, and Cowell was not. "Here it was the first day of taping of the Hollywood shows, and Ellen was there waiting for Simon to show up. Ellen's new to the gig and she's very organized and she made a commitment to take this on, and now she's asking herself, 'What did I get myself into?' She called Simon Cowell a prima donna. So right from the start, the chemistry isn't great," an insider tells us.
With that, Ellen Degeneres contacted the pal who brought her to the primetime hit show, Fox alternative programming chief Mike Darnell, and made a request: she asked him to "hurry up and pick" Simon's successor. Cowell has told the world this will be his last season judging Idol to do his own U.S. version of The X Factor. But there's a problem, a big multi-pronged one, and it involves Ellen vs Simon, and Simon Fuller vs Simon Cowell, and American Idol vs The X Factor as well.
Our sources say that American Idol's first choice to succeed Cowell is former Sony music chief Tommy Mottola, best known to the public as Mariah Carey's ex-husband and the top executive behind Michael Jackson's music in its heyday. But Cowell has also designated Mottola as first choice to be a judge on Simon's American X Factor show just announced.
Cowell is reportedly being paid nearly $175 million for launching the new talent search show in the Fall of 2011. (Cowell didn't own American Idol and only gets paid to appear on it, but he does own X Factor and the whole brand. It is currently shown in 17 countries worldwide and is the No. 1 TV entertainment format in Europe. The X Factor format is owned by Syco, a global music, television and film production joint venture between Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment.)Continue reading here