Amidst the most recent overhaul of Fox’s American Idol and its judging panel and a day after Fox’s latest reality premiere about office overhauls, it looks like someone else has to go. That someone is going to be Mike Darnell, Fox’s long-time Executive of Alternative Programming, aka Reality TV.
Darnell released a statement to the media Friday afternoon.
“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. 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. To say I am going to miss everyone here and that the people at FOX are like a family to me would be the understatement of the decade. I have so many people to thank (and I will call all of you!), but first and foremost, I want to thank Kevin Reilly, Peter Rice, Chase Carey and Rupert Murdoch for all their amazing support over these many years.”
Darnell has given Fox hits like American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, The X Factor, and more. Darnell also gave Fox a few misses in Joe Millionaire, The Choice, Temptation Island, and My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance.
So what does this change mean for the network? We’ll keep you updated as more information comes.