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.”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.