‘Idol’ Maker Wants to Scratch Comedy Itch


The man behind American Idol, TV’s most popular unscripted show, says comedy and variety are the genres to watch in 2006. And Idol creator Simon Fuller says he’s anxious to get in on the action.

“Absolutely,” he says. “The opportunity is there for someone to re-figure out prime-time comedy. If I can find the right way to do it, I’m right there.” Fuller also says he thinks that the variety show is poised for a comeback and could be “the new thing in 2006.” But, he says, there is a caveat. “You need a big star pegged to it. Actually, to really work it needs to be multiple stars. And that’s the biggest dilemma. You really must have big stars attached to it from the start, because that’s what the networks need, since they are so insecure right now.” Not that he’s chucking in the whole Idol business to start recruiting stars for a variety show or hiring sitcom writers. The dance version of Idol on Fox, called So You Think You Can Dance, premieres July 20. We’re counting the minutes until the first craven contestant sucks up to the judges by doing an interpretive foxtrot.