Time to get your inner-Sangia ready! Ludia, a new studio started by industry veteran Alex Thabet, announced a deal to create online games based on the reality TV show American Idol. According to the the press release, the game will feature performance, online community and social networking.

And, there is an interesting story in the New York Times about Zynga, a new company focused on creating casual games for social networks (e.g., Facebook). The founder, Mark Pincus, is a successful serial entrepreneur and is the first guy to hire me out of college. So, we know he’s smart.

Click here to read the article on Ludia and American Idol. And here, to read the article on Zynga (password required) or to go directly to their Web site.