American Idol producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick will buy a vineyard, star in reality series

Two producers of American Idol, apparently no longer content to toil anonymously behind the scenes and manipulate the emotions of viewers while letting unknown kids get all the glory, will star in a new Fox Reality Channel series.

Corkscrewed: The Wrath of Grapes “[follows] the trials and exploits of award-winning entertainment producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick as they make a major investment in a long held dream owning their own vineyard,” according to a press release. Lythgoe, of course, is no stranger to reality TV, as he is one of the judges on So You Think You Can Dance, where he channels Simon Cowell and pretends that he’s a star.

The fawning press release also says the two men “are both enjoying the rewards and Hollywood lifestyle that come with a string of prime-time US network hits. Everything they touch turns to TV gold, as the reality series follows the two highly successful, charismatic showmen as they venture into the vineyard abyss.” Hopefully, whoever wrote that got a raise.

Most interestingly, the press release reveals that the vineyard they purchased was to be owned by “a consortium of buyers including Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell and Simon Fuller.” But all four of them pulled out.

The new show is being co-produced with a British production company. In the US, it’ll air eight 30-minute episodes; in the UK, where they have longer attention spans, the show will air four one-hour episodes.

Fox Reality, Sky One, Magic Pictures Inc., and Talent Television Announce New US/UK Co-Production [Fox Reality press release]

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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.