As the president of alternative programming at Fox, Mike Darnell developed a well-earned reputation as a showman with a wicked mind. "I usually like to take a pitch and twist it into something more evil or more dangerous," says Darnell, who was once called "Fox's Point Man For Perversity" by the New York Times.
Darnell, the man behind some of the most notorious reality series and specials on television over the past two decades, left Fox at the end of July. He's now moving on to Warner Bros. Television Group as president of unscripted and alternative TV.
It's the end of an era for Fox, which meets reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday without Darnell for the first time in decades. Network execs are still mulling Darnell's replacement. (Among names that have been rumored for the job: National Geographic Channels CEO David Lyle and president Howard T. Owens; Sharon Levy, Spike TV's executive vice president of original series; and Nigel Lythgoe Productions president Kary McHoul; among others).
American Idol was easily the biggest hit on Darnell's watch, but we all know the ins and outs of that show. Now that he's exiting Fox, we asked Darnell to recount the rest of his greatest reality hits — and misses.
Welcome back Bachelorette fans! Can you believe it's been almost a year since Ali and Roberto ended their journey with an engagement? Let's hope that streak continues with our latest cycle's star, Ashley Hebert.
The episode begins with a look back at Ashley and Brad's relationship on The Bachelor. The reel highlights the many times Ashley doubted their connection, which ultimately lead to her dismissal. This time around the dentist says she's going to do it right, with no regrets.
Conveyor Belt of Love
From masks to big money, reality dating shows have offered over-the-top concepts from Day 1. The Bachelor franchise is still going strong in its 14th season. Since its inception in 2002, however, ways to find love on television have hit an all-time low. Let's take a look back at some of network TV's worst (and completely out-there) dating shows.