Mike Darnell is headed to Warner Bros. Television Group as president of… (Danny Moloshok / Associated…)
Reality television savant Mike Darnell is joining Warner Bros. Television Group as president of unscripted and alternative television.
Considered one of the pioneers of the reality genre, Darnell has been a free agent since May when he resigned from Fox Broadcasting after almost two decades there. He has played a key part in the success of both wholesome shows such as "American Idol" as well as "When Animals Attack," "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance" and more lowbrow fare.
At Warner Bros., Darnell will be reunited with Peter Roth, a former top executive at Fox who is now president and chief content officer of the Warner Bros. TV arm.
"His creative instincts, his knack for embracing and capturing the zeitgeist, and his endless desire for discovery have fueled his extraordinary success," Roth said in a statement.
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Darnell will have a bigger playground at Warner Bros. than he did at Fox. Besides developing new prime-time shows for broadcast and cable networks, he will have oversight of the studio's Telepictures Productions, which makes programming for the daytime and early evening hours. Its shows include "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and the entertainment news magazine "Extra" and tabloid gossip show "TMZ."
Telepictures President Hilary Estey McLoughlin will exit her position to make way for Darnell and take a producing role at the studio, Warner Bros. said.
Warner Horizon Unscripted Television, another unit at the studio and the maker of NBC's "The Voice" and ABC's long-running franchise "The Bachelor," will also be under Darnell.
The hiring of Darnell is the first major move by Roth since a corporate restructuring at Warner Bros. gave him greater responsibility over the television unit.
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