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Steven Tyler’s Lawyer Wins ‘American Idol’ Suit With Singer’s Former Managers

By | Friday February 1, 2013 @ 12:15pm PST

A Superior Court judge today formally dismissed most of an $8 million lawsuit against Steven Tyler’s lawyer by the former American Idol judge’s former managers. Kovac Media Group/Tenth Street Entertainment had claimed in their suit filed back in October that attorney Dina LaPolt has played both sides and had messed up Tyler’s contract renegotiations with the Fox show in 2011. Judge Joseph Kalin this morning in a conference case management hearing declared that the defense’s invoking of anti-SLAPP statutes and the First Amendment did protect the lawyer. Kovac alleged LaPolt’s mishandling of their “hot commodity” cost Tyler a $6 million to $8 million raise in his Idol contract for a second season on the show. Tyler announced he was leaving Idol in July 2012. Today’s ruling was not unexpected as the Judge has previously staked out the position in a tentative ruling. That doesn’t mean it’s completely over. Read More »

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Steven Tyler Slams Former Managers In ‘American Idol’ Pay Raise Lawsuit

By | Monday December 17, 2012 @ 4:43pm PST

Former American Idol judge Steven Tyler said today that he “very much wanted to end the relationship” with the ex-managers that are now suing his lawyer. The legal declaration (read it here) and increased war of words from the Aerosmith frontman came Monday in response to an $8 million lawsuit Kovac Media Group/Tenth Street Entertainment filed October 11 against Dina LaPolt. In that suit, Kovac claims that LaPolt ruined Tyler’s chances to get a big raise on Idol — costing them commissions and their client. But Tyler, who is not named in the initial suit, says otherwise: “It is an understatement to say that I was very unhappy with the services and conduct of Allen Kovac. Among other things, he was disrespectful and rude to my business associates, insulted and verbally abused my fiancé, my lawyer, my family, my assistants, and my accountants,” he said in the declaration filed in LA Superior Court. Tyler announced in July that he was leaving American Idol after two seasons. Read More »

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Steven Tyler Says He’s No “Racist”, Apologizes To Nicki Minaj Over ‘Idol’ Comments

By | Wednesday November 28, 2012 @ 4:11pm PST

Former American Idol judge Steve Tyler is sorry that current Idol judge Nicki Minaj took his recent criticism as racist but he doesn’t know why she had that interpretation in the first place. “I am the last thing on this planet as far as being a racist. I don’t know where she got that out of me saying I’m not sure how she would have judged Bob Dylan,” the Aerosmith frontman said on Canadian TV yesterday.  “I apologize if it was taken wrong, Nicki,” Tyler told eTalk. Minaj has not responded to the latest remarks.

Related: Nicki Minaj Calls Steven Tyler’s Slam “Racist” Read More »

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Nicki Minaj Calls Steven Tyler’s Slam of Current Crop Of ‘Idol’ Judges “Racist”

By | Monday November 26, 2012 @ 4:48pm PST

American Idol judge Nicki Minaj today says it’s “racist” of Steven Tyler to predict that she’d probably send Bob Dylan back to “the cornfield” if he appeared as a contestant on the Fox show. The current judge’s backlash on Twitter against the former Idol judge came after Tyler unfavorably compared the present panel to when he was on the show. “If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield! Whereas, if it was Bob Dylan with us, we would have brought the best of him out, as we did with Phillip Phillips. Just saying,” the Aerosmith lead singer told MTV News Monday. “I know that they’ve got something going on on the judges’ panel, [and] it shouldn’t be that, it should be just the opposite. They should have something going on, which is called ‘camaraderie,’” Tyler said in reference to rumors of in-fighting on the judge’s panel between Minaj and Mariah Carrey. Minaj, who was officially announced as one of the replacements to the departing Tyler and Jennifer Lopez in September, responded with a flurry of tweets today. “You assume that I wouldn’t have liked Bob Dylan??? why? black? rapper? what? go fuck yourself and worry about yourself babe,” Minaj added on Twitter. “When Steven 1st went on Idol he was ridiculed by his peers & fans alike. Called … Read More »

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Lawyer Cost Steven Tyler A Big Pay Raise For ‘American Idol’, Suit Claims

By | Thursday October 11, 2012 @ 6:19pm PDT

American IdolThe Aerosmith lead singer’s former manager says lawyer Dina LaPolt poisoned Steven Tyler’s contract renegotiations with American Idol, costing him a multimillion-dollar raise. Kovac Media Group/Tenth Street Entertainment today filed an $8 million lawsuit (read it here) against the entertainment lawyer and her West Hollywood firm. American Idol and its former judge are not named as defendants in the breach of fiduciary duty complaint. In fact Tyler is not named at all. Instead he is referred to as “The Artist” throughout the filing, though it is pretty clear from the players, his membership in a band and his role as judge for two seasons on the Fox show exactly who he is. The suit claims that in 2011 LaPolt lost “hot commodity” Tyler a $6 million to $8 million raise in his Idol contract for a second season on the show.

Related: Steven Tyler Departing ‘American Idol’ Read More »

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Steven Tyler Departing ‘American Idol’

By | Thursday July 12, 2012 @ 1:37pm PDT

Steven Tyler Leaving American IdolBREAKING… Steven Tyler has decided to leave his role as a judge on the Fox show. He just released this statement via the network: “After some long…hard…thoughts…I’ve decided it’s time for me to let go of my mistress American Idol before she boils my rabbit. I strayed from my first love, Aerosmith, and I’m back — but instead of begging on my hands and knees, I’ve got two fists in the air and I’m kicking the door open with my band.”

Tyler arrived as a judge for the singing competition show for the 10th season, along with fellow new judge Jennifer Lopez, who also is deciding whether to return for Season 12 after signing a one-year contract at the time. But ratings on Idol have sagged since the departure of the judges they replaced — Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul — and even News Corp COO Chase Carey noticed the dip, telling Wall Street analysts in May that “our challenge for next year is to put some fresh energy in” the show after “we probably didn’t do enough this year” in terms of changes.

Related: ‘American Idol’ Posts Lowest-Rated Finale Ever

Said Fox President of Alternative Mike Darnell in Tyler’s departure announcement today: “It’s been a tremendous honor to have Steven – one of the most prolific artists in the world – on American Idol for … Read More »

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Oprah’s Out-Of-Studio ‘Next Chapter’ Debuts Jan. 1: At Home With Steven Tyler

By | Friday November 18, 2011 @ 11:05am PST

Oprah Winfrey’s new primetime out-of-studio show Oprah’s Next Chapter will debut at 8 PM Sunday, January 1, 2012 with a two-hour segment featuring Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler from his home in New Hampshire. The OWN show will thereafter broadcast from 9 PM to 10 PM on Sundays beginning January 8.  For the premiere, Winfrey met Tyler at the family home on Lake Sunapee. He talks to Winfrey about his years of battling drug addiction, his relationships with his wives and his new gig on American Idol. Future episodes will have Winfrey visiting a Hasidic Jewish family, fire-walking with high-energy motivator Tony Robbins and taking her first trip to India with Deepak Chopra.

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Clear Channel Goes Gaga With Live Concert Festival To Relaunch Web Music Service

Bob Pittman has always loved splashy events, and his planned two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival certainly qualifies. Clear Channel says it will stage “the biggest live concert festival in radio history” at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sept 23-24, with Ryan Seacrest hosting hitmakers including Lady Gaga, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Steven Tyler, The Black Eyed Peas, Kenny Chesney, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Usher and Sting. The goal is to “celebrate the launch of the New iHeartRadio,” Clear Channel’s online radio streaming service, with  a festival that will reach “the largest combined U.S. radio and online audience ever,” says Pittman – a former MTV and AOL Time Warner honcho who’s now the No. 1 radio company’s chairman of media and entertainment platforms. The event, he adds, ”underscores Clear Channel’s transformation to a dynamic integrated media and entertainment company with an unmatched reach in the U.S.” Video and audio streams will be accessible at iHeartRadio.com and at all websites for Clear Channel’s radio stations. The New iHeartRadio will offer broadcast radio stations as well as Pandora-like free, customized services that will have no commercials at least to the end of this year. Seacrest calls the concert “a once-in-a-generation gathering of artists and fans from all over the country.” Tickets to the live event will go on sale July 16.

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Reinventing ‘Idol’: Will The Reality Veteran Finish Up In The Ratings Without Simon?

Nellie Andreeva

On Thursday night, the American Idol episode that determined the show’s 13 finalists drew 25.3 million viewers and a 8.2/24 in adults 18-49, up a whopping 30% from the comparable night last year. After starting off down double digits from last season, the last one with star judge Simon Cowell, the singing competition has been consistently chipping away at last season’s ratings advantage, keeping its declines in the single digits and even slightly outperforming the corresponding 2010 episodes on a couple of occasions. “We have to pinch ourselves sometimes, I don’t think anybody expected it to go as well as it has,” Fox’s EVP program planning and research Preston Beckman said.

Indeed, the doomsday scenarios about Idol crashing and burning in the ratings without Simon did not materialize. Right now, Idol’s current tenth season is about even with Season 9 in total viewers and down moderate 7% in adults 18-49. After taking a dive in the ratings at the end of last season to the levels of its maiden summer cycle in 2002, could the veteran reality series reverse its down trend this year with a first season-to-season ratings bump since its ratings peaked in Season 5? “We feel that from this point forward we are tracking on par with where Idol was last year and maybe we could surprise ourselves and start to grow with the live shows,” Beckman said. Why is he so upbeat … Read More »

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Simon Fuller On ‘American Idol’ Season 10 So Far: ‘We Wanted To Lose The Negativity’

Nellie Andreeva

When a show heads into its 10th season, you brace for ratings declines. When it heads into its 10th season and loses its biggest star, you brace for the worst. Well, by that measure, Fox’s American Idol has done pretty well. After the public spectacle that the search for new judges became, playing out like a soap opera over the summer, there was a lot of skepticism whether the veteran reality show would collapse following the departure of star judge Simon Cowell. Airing in a new Wednesday-Thursday pattern, Idol did start off down from last season but has since held steady and pretty close to last year’s numbers except for last week which a year ago featured Ellen DeGeneres’ debut as an Idol judge. But it’s still unclear how the 2011 Idol‘s extreme makeover for Season 10 will fare with two new judges (Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler), a new showrunner (returning Nigel Lythgoe), new lower age limit (15), new record company (Universal) and new mentor (Jimmy Iovine, who showed similiarities to grumpy Cowell in his debut on the show tonight). And the changes aren’t done. Word is Idol has inked a deal with Facebook to move its rather antiquated phone voting system to the Web and is also planning to actively use Twitter. In a written Q&A with me, Idol creator/executive producer Simon Fuller declined to discuss any Idol voting … Read More »

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Simon Cowell On New ‘Idol’ Judges: “I Think They’ve Done A Good Job’

Nellie Andreeva

The always suave Simon Cowell made a rare misstep during a conference call today about his new Fox reality series The X Factor. When he was asked what he thought about new American Idol judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, he professed that he hadn’t seen a full episode of Idol yet this season, just a three-minute recap last week. He did make a quick recovery. “From what I’ve seen and from what I’ve heard, it all seems to be going well, I always thought that would be the case,” he said. “What I was more concerned about was the ratings falling off a cliff, meaning that that the whole genre is now over. But people are still excited about these shows, whether Dancing With the Stars, which has gotten better over the years, or America’s Got Talent.” He ultimately returned to the original question about Tyler and JLo, saying “I think they’ve done a good job.”

There was a lot of talk about who will join Cowell on the judging panel of The X Factor this fall. “We haven’t made up our minds up yet”, Cowell said, adding that he expects to make the announcement in 3-4 weeks. He didn’t comment on the persistent rumor that the pretty 27-year-old British singer Cheryl Cole, a judge on the U.K. version of The X Factor, will also be on the Fox show, but said that he is looking for judges whom “the … Read More »

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TCA: No Villain On ‘Idol’ This Season

From Ray Richmond, who has been contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
The hot new (read: Simon Cowell-less) American Idol got rolled out by Fox on Tuesday morning at the TCA confab in Pasadena, with new judges J-Lo and Steven Tyler and new/old showrunner Nigel Lythgoe but without a man named Simon, the one named Cowell, arguably the nasty voice that has long stirred this top-rated drink for a phenomenon that enters its 10th season on Jan. 19.

First question of the day: Does anyone take it personally that everyone presumes there is a Hummer-size hole in the show to fill due to the looming absence of Simon’s bracing venom? “No,” insisted Randy Jackson, the only returning judge and now the undeniable veteran. “We don’t take it personally. Of course we love him and miss him, but what we’ve added with these new superstars is a lot. We’ve got a rock legend in Steven and a triple-threat in J-Lo.” This marked the first time in a public forum that someone has expressed “love” for Cowell.

For his part, exec producer Lythgoe expressed little concern over “Idol” continuing on its merry Number One way. “It’s an entirely new cast, and an entirely new show, but you need to evolve after you’ve been on the air for a decade, so it’s time,” Lythgoe said. “Simon’s leaving allows us to be creative and to shake things up.” Agreed exec producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz: “It was important … Read More »

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TV TEASER: Fox’s ‘American Idol’

By | Wednesday December 8, 2010 @ 11:53am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Fox has released a new trailer for the upcoming 10th season of American Idol. It showcases the two new judges, complete with Steven Tyler’s trademark falsetto-esque scream and Jennifer Lopez reminiscing about growing up in the Bronx. American Idol returns on January 19 and will air for the first time on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The biggest format change is the elimination of the round of 24, with the top 12 locked in at the end of Hollywood week.

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IT’S OFFICIAL: Fox Announces Steven Tyler & Jennifer Lopez As New ‘Idol’ Judges

Nellie Andreeva

 Talk about an anticlimax. After weeks of speculation and spoilers, Fox officially intro’ed new American Idol judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez this morning in a brief ceremony hosted by Ryan Seacrest at the Forum in Inglewood. The two are joining original judge Randy Jackson. Additionally, record executive and producer Jimmy Iovine will serve as an in-house mentor to the contestants on the upcoming 10th season of Idol. Technically, Lopez replaces Ellen DeGeneres who asked to be released from her 2-year contract after the end of last season. Her wish was granted in early August. Lopez’s Idol judge gig is part of a $12-million salary and overal Fox deal which Lopez and her team negotiated over the summer as Nikki reported exclusively earlier this month as well as first scooped that Lopez was to be an Idol judge. Today, Fox confirmed the first-look deal for her Nuyorican Prods. with both Twentieth Century Fox Films and Fox Broadcasting Co.

“Jennifer is a true entertainment powerhouse who has made a tremendous impact on pop culture,” said Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, chairmen and CEOs of Fox Filmed Entertainment. Added Fox entertainment chairman Peter Rice, “From the worlds of dance and music to television, films and fashion, she is a global superstar with iconic and captivating style, along with impressive insight on how to reach and move audiences worldwide.” Read More »

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Fox To Announce ‘Idol’ Judges Wednesday

Nellie Andreeva

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will unveil the new panel of judges for the Fox reality show on Wednesday, September 22nd, at the Forum, the network said. With so much speculation about Idol‘s judges all summer, there is not much suspense left for what is expected to be an official introduction of singers Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler and veteran Randy Jackson. Unless there’s the addition of Elton John.

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‘Idol’ Still Trying To Get Elton John As Judge

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s Emmy coverage.

EXCLUSIVE: Is American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe unhappy with who’s going to be the show’s next two judges? It sure sounds that way. I caught up with him at the 8th annual BAFTA/LA Tea Party in Century City today and asked him to confirm that Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez will replace Simon Cowell and Ellen DeGeneres. “I must say, I really do love Elton John. He’s a huge favorite of mine,” Lythgoe replied to me. The producer added that Elton’s packed schedule is “always the problem”. Then Lythgoe revealed what strategy Idol is using on Elton to convince him to clear it and come on the show. “It depends on whether [he] wants to give back.” As Deadline Hollywood has been continually reporting, everybody connected to Idol has made no secret of the fact that Elton John has always been their first choice to replace Cowell. But no deal is in the offing not just because of the musician’s touring commitments but also because of his astronomical asking price. Which is why the musician’s UK publicist Gary Farrow told Deadline London Editor Tim Adler in late July that “There’s more chance of me fucking you than Elton being on U.S. Idol.” But it’s clear Lythgoe is still trying.

Lythgoe, who left Idol and then recently returned, also blamed Simon Cowell for Ellen DeGeneres not returning as an Idol judge next season. “I’m sorry she’s gone, to be honest with you,” he told me, “because I think there’s a place for Ellen DeGeneres on American Idol. And that is being the voice of the people. She wasn’t given a fair opportunity to serve that function. Read More »

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JENNIFER LOPEZ IS NEW ‘IDOL’ JUDGE! Closed Deal This Week; Replaces Ellen Who Wanted Out of Contract: “It’s Not Been Fun”

EXCLUSIVE UPDATE 6:30 PM: We’ve just learned the backstory of how Ellen DeGeneres bowed out of American Idol and who will be the new judge taking her place. It’s Jennifer Lopez, JENNIFER LOPEZ 2whose singing and acting career has been on the skids after her recent movie failed at the box office in the spring and she was dropped by her record company Sony Music Epic Records this past winter. We hear her manager Benny Medina (whom she once fired) orchestrated the meeting with the American Idol producers a month ago, and negotiations have been ongoing ever since. We’ve learned a deal was closed earlier this week under the utmost secrecy. Today’s news came shortly after Nigel Lythgoe returned to Idol as an executive producer. He has vowed to shake up the show’s team of judges in the wake of the departure of Simon Cowell, publicly stating that he always thought a panel of three and not 4 made the most sense.

Still to be decided is who will replace Simon Cowell. Everyone associated with the show wants Elton John, but we hear he’s asking for too much money and has too many touring commitments he can’t get out of. (Denials That Justin Or Elton Judging ‘Idol’) 2ND UPDATE: Tonight, unconfirmed reports say Idol has offered Cowell’s judge seat to Steven Tyler. 3RD UPDATE: And another unconfirmed report claimed judge Kara DioGuardi has been fired to bring the panel count down to just 3, not 4.

As for Ellen Degeneres, we’re told she wanted off the show two months ago and complained that Idol producers “couldn’t control Cowell”, one insider tells us. Least of all Cecile Frot-Coutaz, the CEO of FremantleMedia North America. “Cecile is doing X Factor with Simon, so she’s in his back pocket.” DeGeneres and her reps went in to to see Fox Broadcasting’s Entertainment Chairman Peter Rice and Alternative TV President Mike Darnell and asked to be let out of the year left on her contract. “She’s not comfortable. She’s not happy. It’s not been fun,” Fox was told.  But Rice and Darnell responded that, with Cowell leaving, “We can’t let you out now because it would be bad for our franchise. Give us a chance to figure out who we could get.” In the end, all the show’s producers – Fox, Fremantle, and 19 Entertainment – worked it out. “Peter Rice was awesome,” an insider tells us. “Ellen is thrilled and relieved.” We’ve learned that serious conversations took place between Idol and Jessica Simpson to replace Ellen. But once Jennifer Lopez was locked in this week, the DeGeneres announcement went out. Read More »

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