Fallen 'Idol': Employees Sue Hit Show

FOX's American IdolReality TV show workers have long complained about being overworked and underpaid. Now, accusations and a lawsuit have hit the biggest reality TV show of all: Fox's "American Idol."

Three former employees have filed a big class-action lawsuit against "Idol" producer FremantleMedia North America, claiming that they were told to work overtime without overtime pay, as well as sign off on fictional time cards.

The suit contends workers had to work 10, 12 and even 20-hour days six or seven days a week--sometimes without meals or other breaks.

This isn't the first time that reality TV editors and workers have complained or sought legal action. The Writers Guild of America recently settled two class-action lawsuits for $4 million for many similar problems. The suits were filed in 2005.

Plus, there have been grumblings about "Idol" before. Last summer, the Writers Guild of America did a month-long publicity campaign against Fremantle, holding protests around the country outside "American Idol" auditions.

The suing "Idol" workers have worked on other reality shows: Twentieth Television's syndicated game show "Temptation," Oxygen cable network's "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency" and Fox's upcoming "Osbournes: Reloaded."

A Fremantle spokesman had no comment.

Tags: television
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