Fox gets clearance to broadcast 'American Idol' finale
By Wade Paulsen, 05/19/2003
Looks like we'll get to see who wins between Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken after all.
As discussed in a Friday news story here, a Texas man, Harry Keane, claimed to have "invented" the concept of American Idol and requested an injuction to block Fox from airing this week's final episodes. However, E! Online reports that his request for a temporary injunction was denied by a judge from the U.S. District Court in Houston, Texas, clearing the way for the Idol finale to air Tuesday and Wednesday.
Keane's attorney says that he would like $300 million to settle his lawsuit. Fox has a different view of the lawsuit's merits. Said a Fox spokeperson, "The claim [Keane] is making is ridiculous, and the lawsuit is ridiculous."
According to the lawsuit, Keane claims to have developed the concept of the show during 1994 to 1998 and to have mailed it in bunches of letters to prominent entertainment industry figures, including Thames Television in the U.K. and Simon Fuller's production company. His "proof" consists of copies of the letter that he mailed to himself at the same time, according to his attorney. However, he never hired an agent or did anything else to push the shows.
So ... basically Keane's theory relies on the judge and jury believing one likely and one unlikely thing: that TV producers are sleazy (the likely one) and that a TV producer would actually read an unsolicited letter, let alone remember it for years before ripping off the ideas in it. We wish him lots of luck in proving this.