Fox schedules Hole in the Wall against Survivor

Fox announced today that it was going to take Moment of Truth off the fall schedule and replace it with its new import of Hole in the Wall, a game show that involves nothing more than people trying to jump through differently shaped holes in a styrofoam wall that will knock them into a pool if they don’t make it.

That’s significant because Fox planned to use its he lie detector show to kill off Survivor. Now, the new Fox game show debuts Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. ET, and one week later, Survivor Gabon will debut in the same hour.

This is probably bad news for Survivor. Hole in the Wall already has a cult following online (check out the “human Tetris” videos on YouTube), and the novelty of a fun new game show versus a familiar reality show might affect ratings, at least initially. I can see fatigue setting in for Hole in the Wall just as Survivor picks up mid-season. Perhaps people will DVR Fox’s show and tune in live for CBS’, since eight years later, there’s still a water cooler quality to Survivor.

Plus, Moment of Truth was both soulless and ultimately kind of boring because it was so disingenuous, pretending it wasn’t so soulless. If you’re going to be so callous and destructive, go for it, don’t just shut off the cameras after destroying families. Fox’s decision to ditch host Mark Wahlberg’s show (for now) is clearly strategic. There’s an appetite for happy fun dumb shows right now (hello, Wipeout).

More significantly, as The Hollywood Reporter notes, Moment of Truth‘s “ratings [dropped] sharply during its summer run, [so] ‘Hole’ likely will stand a better chance of overthrowing CBS’ time-period champ.”

Body-Bending Game Show “Hole in the Wall” Jumps Onto Fox… [Fox press release]
Fox, ABC shuffling reality lineups [Hollywood Reporter]

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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.