Reality VP Mike Darnell could leave FOX to start a production company at NBC

FOX’s Mike Darnell, the vice president responsible for reality shows at the network, could leave for NBC, where he’d produce shows under his own production company. He’s responsible for developing reality series from Joe Millionaire to American Idol at FOX.

Darnell’s contract expires this week, and new NBC president Ben Silverman “approached [him] last week about coming to the Peacock in order to launch his own company,” Variety reports, although NBC is not the only company to make an offer.

If that happened, NBC would be “denying rival Fox one of its longest-serving creative talents,” Variety says. But the paper notes that “Darnell has built a particularly close relationship with” executives, and “some industry insiders believe Darnell will ultimately make a deal with Fox, perhaps getting a long-desired [president] title in the process.” Still, “Darnell may not be interested in keeping a network gig.”

Darnell in doubt [Variety]

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.