FOX reality “gnome” Darnell: “These are just ideas until you execute them.”

FOX reality “gnome” Darnell: “These are just ideas until you execute them.”
FOX has been under fire recently from other networks for seemingly ripping off their show ideas and then racing to the air with copycat versions. FOX President Gail Berman called the charges “baseless allegations of theft and extortion [that] are outrageous and unacceptable.” The Denver Post’s Joanne Ostrow talks to FOX’s reality exec, Mike Darnell, who she says is “[a] kid-sized man with long, wiry hair” who “speaks rapidly in a high-pitched rasp” and is referred to by some critics as “the gnome.” Citing one example, he insists a bunch of boxing series were pitched to FOX, and says, “These are just ideas until you execute them.” He also says that he understands that his exploitative and appalling programming will be slammed. “Some shows, we’re going to get criticized. Not because they’re bad, but just because of the kind of show that they are.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.

A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.