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]

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.