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'American Idol's' Nigel Lythgoe Slams Twitter Followers Over 'X Factor'

After being berated by viewers of Simon Cowell's new reality competition series, the EP lashes out on the social media site.

Nigel Lythgoe
Andrew MacPherson

Though Simon Cowell and American Idol co-creator Simon Fuller have been in a very public feud for years and most recently over the U.S. broadcast of The X Factor, Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe has managed to steer clear of the drama for the most part.

PHOTOS: An 'American Idol' to 'X Factor' Timeline

Lythgoe, of course, unleashed a few jabs prior to The X Factor’s U.S. debut, but remained mum following the series’ first broadcast on Wednesday, Sept. 21. That is, until viewers started spewing insults of their own at the Idol producer.

“My Idol days with you are over!” wrote one Twitter user. “Idol was cool, but X Factor is BETTER!”

“Give X Factor some time, and Idol will be gone,” said another. “X Factor did better on its series premiere than Idol did. [Lythgoe is] just scared.”

PHOTOS: Behind the Scenes: THR's 'X Factor' Cover Shoot

On the other hand, one fan noted, “LOL that XFactor did not even win its timeslot. I can hear @dizzyfeet [Lythgoe] cackling right now.”

All of the above comments were re-tweeted by Lythgoe, himself. “Different public opinions on X-Factor,” he added. “I love that I’m getting crap without even passing comment or giving my opinion of the program. MORONS!”

Lythgoe told The Hollywood Reporter in May that executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Fox reality chief Mike Darnell, who are involved in both projects, are attempting to prevent repetition between the two series.

STORY: Analysis: Forget Ratings Worries -- Judge 'X Factor' on its Content, Promise

“I think it’s been difficult this year. It’s the year of the first production of X Factor and of course Mike and Cecile are involved,” he said. “Anything that might cross over, we’re attempting to avoid. And of course, we don’t know what they’re doing -- but they do -- so we have to take their word for it.”

“I’ve always wanted to try and introduce dancers into Idol, as I did with Idol Gives Back and other things like that,” he continued. “And of course I can’t really do that this season because X Factor has got dancers in it. Frustrating sometimes, but at least we’ve got inside knowledge – even if we don’t know what the inside knowledge is.”

THR COVER STORY: What the X Is This All About?

The X Factor debuted to an 8.7 household rating in its first broadcast, averaging 8.3 in preliminary numbers for its Thursday showing. While the show’s ratings are nothing to be ashamed of, they still fell short of the blockbuster success expected for the highly anticipated series.