'American Idol': Simon Fuller moves on, Nigel Lythgoe gets a title

fuller-lythgoe-320.jpgTwo of the men who helped make "American Idol" the biggest show on television are in the news for other reasons.

Simon Fuller, who created the "Idol" format, is leaving 19 Entertainment (which produces the series) to start his own company. Former "Idol" executive producer and current "So You Think You Can Dance" judge/producer Nigel Lythgoe has been named chairman of BAFTA's L.A. branch.

Fuller had mounted an effort to buy 19's parent company, CKX, but instead opted to break off. He'll still consult with CKX, which has an option to invest in the new venture.

"As an entrepreneur I feel I am about to enter my prime years, and starting a new entertainment company at this moment fills me with great excitement," Fuller says in a statement.

Lythgoe, meanwhile, has been elected as chairman of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles. The academy's L.A. branch aims to serve as a bridge between the British and American entertainment communities through film screenings and other events and outreach efforts.

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