The Producers Guild is honoring Simon Fuller with its Visionary Award, but why stop there?
If the org drummed up kudos for Instinct and Confidence, they could also have Fuller’s name on them.
“I think I’ve been lucky enough to be my own boss for 25 years,” says the CEO and founder of 19 Entertainment, the company behind “American Idol” and other hit endeavors in television and music, “and I think that puts you in a position to follow your belief and your convictions. If you think you’re onto something, you can just follow it through and do it, as opposed to running it past endless people you need to get approval from. … Obviously, I’m not always right, but if I am right, I’m going to nail it.
“I’ve always been pretty confident, to be honest. My taste — I’m not saying it’s a good thing — but I have very mainstream taste. When I was a kid, and I’d hear a song on the radio or watch a premiere of a TV show, quite often when I loved that song or I thought that TV show was great, it went on to be a huge hit.”
No success of Fuller’s has been more remarkable than that of the global “Idol” franchise. He responds thoughtfully to the question of how long the series can run.
“It’s an unprecedented area we’re in,” he observes. “Personally, I’ve always seen ‘Idol’ as more than just an entertainment show, more than just a variety show. It’s a bit of a soap opera, and soap operas tend to go on for decades. … The other element is it’s competition, and competitions tend to go on forever, (like) the Super Bowl.
“Worst case, I expect us to go for at least another 10 years. I’d be disappointed if we didn’t. In time, I think we can be one of the longer-running shows in history.”
With the occasion of the award all but begging him to look ahead, Fuller says he has “lots of new ventures” in the works for this year and beyond. He embraces the uncertainty of the multiplatform universe.
“To me as an entrepreneur, I completely revel in it,” he says. “I adore it.”