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‘American Idol’ Production Company Going Bankrupt

MANHATTAN (CN) — "American Idol" is going belly-up.

Core Media, the production company behind the long-running singing show and its sister summer hit "So you Think You Can Dance," has filed at least 48 bankruptcy protection pleadings in Manhattan Supreme County Bankruptcy Court to shield it from at least $500 million in unpaid debt.

Listed in each filing is the oft-name-dropped creator of both shows, British TV mogul Simon Fuller.

"Despite its long-running success, however, the company has recently experienced deterioration in its final performance, primarily attributable to the decline in ratings for 'American Idol' and the corresponding decline in revenues from Idol's-related fees, international tape sales for rebroadcasts, touring fees, sponsorship and Idols-related merchandise sales," Core president Peter Hurwitz said, as quoted in a report by USA Today.

Variety reported Core as part of a bigger picture that included deals with 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management. All players in the merger made sure to protect themselves from liability, Variety wrote.

Fuller is owed $3.3 million, according to the Chapter 11 filing. Core also owes about $420 million to others, including Sony Music Entertainment and CBS.

Representatives for CBS did not respond to emails and phone calls seeking comment Friday morning.

"Idol" gave the world break-out contestants like Clay Aiken, Fantasia Barrino, Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson and its first-ever winner Kelly Clarkson when the show first started in 2002.

With longtime host Ryan Seacrest still at the helm, but consistently drooping ratings, producers announced earlier this month that its 15th season would be its last.

The loss of Coke, AT&T and the closure of the "American Idol Experience" attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida didn't help the brand's name, USA Today noted.

"Dancing With the Stars" resurrected careers of celebrities shaking their tail feathers for fame. Among them, Olympic gold-medal winning skater Apolo Anton Ohno, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson, pop star Donny Osmond, "Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Gray, and the first to hold the crown, Kelly Monaco, a soap star, in 2009.

Interestingly, a hybrid situation happened when Idol stand-out Kellie Pickler took the dancing crown in 2013.

Rumer Willis, the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, notably battled a rib injury to take the crown in 2015.

Bindi Irwin, at 17, was the youngest to win the dance competition, and is the daughter of "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, who made headlines after he was killed by a crocodile in 2006.

But ratings on both shows continue to drop, along with the dough, and the ship can no longer stay afloat, the production company says.

Core Media, the parent company of 19 Entertainment, did not respond to a request for comment Friday morning.


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