Fox Reality Show Chief Steps Down
Mike Darnell, Fox's president of alternative programming (that's reality shows) announced Friday that he will be leaving the network in June.
Darnell has developed such shows for Fox as "American Idol", "Hell's Kitchen" and "The X Factor". (In case you've tried to forget, he also gave us "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire", "Temptation Island" and "When Animals Attack".)
"I'm extremely grateful that FOX has offered me a new long term contract (and anyone who knows me won't believe I'm saying this), but I've decided it's time for a change," said Darnell in a press release. "With my current deal ending in June, and having been here for 18 years (kind of a record in Hollywood), I had to make a decision: either stay (and basically admit to myself I was going to retire at FOX...not a terrible choice) or leave and try something new. I've been in ‘Reality' since before it was even called that, and it has truly been an amazing ride. However, the world has changed drastically over the last few years and now with hundreds of channels and limitless ways to watch television, I've decided this was the perfect time to take advantage of the rapidly changing marketplace."
Darnell's reps say that his departure has nothing to do with "American Idol"'s slumping ratings, despite widespread speculation.