Mike Darnell, FOX’s Reality T.V. Guru, will step down from FOX next month.
For 19 years, Mr. Darnell helped launched several of the network’s biggest hits (Hell’s Kitchen & So You Think You Can Dance) and its biggest disasters (Temptation, Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire?).
However, the biggest legacy that Mr. Darnell will have is being the guiding light for two of the biggest singing competitions on the planet: American Idol and The X Factor.
During the first seasons of American Idol, he helped turn several alums (Kelly Clarkson, Clay Aiken, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry) and on-air talents Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell into household names.
Unfortunately, due to departures of original judges Paula Abdul and Cowell, the constant musical chairs of replacement judges, the loss of the Cowell-like critiques and the emergence of The Voice, The Sing-Off and The X Factor, American Idol has been losing the ratings race.
Longtime Idol host Ryan Seacrest commented to Deadline TV about Darnell’s departure stating, “He (Darnell) brilliantly paved the way for all of us, creating a powerful entertainment genre that audiences can’t get enough of. I’ve had the privilege of working with him for more than a decade, I’ve learned so much from him.”
Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the FOX Television Network’s parent company: News Corp. called Darnell “smart and fearless” and “a pioneering force in shaping the reality programming genre that exists today.”
FOX spokesmen had no comment on a possible successor.