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Reality’s next big ‘Idea’

Simon Cowell has got a “Million Dollar Idea” for ABC. The “American Idol” judge is teaming up with “Idol” co-producer Fremantle Media on a competition-based reality show designed to find a budding entrepreneur with an untapped business proposal or product concept. ABC has greenlit production on nine episodes of the show, which is tentatively being called “The Million Dollar Idea” and could be on the air by late fall. The idea for the show came from U.K. tycoon Peter Jones, who developed the concept with Cowell and Fremantle. Cowell, Nigel Hall and FremantleMedia North America’s Cecile Frot-Coutaz will exec produce. Because of his “Idol” deal, Cowell won’t appear on-air during “Idea.” “Idea,” like “Idol,” will start off with nationwide auditions, with would-be inventors pitching their concepts to a three-judge panel of business leaders (including Jones) dubbed “the millionaires.” Nine finalists will be given seed money of $50,000 to develop their concept further. The show will then focus on the human stories surrounding the inventors and their ideas. Nine contestants will ultimately be narrowed down to three finalists, with viewers choosing the winner. Whoever wins the competition gets $1 million and, if all goes well, the winning product could be on store shelves soon after.

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