Tonight, Fox launches its latest reality experiment: Does Someone Have to Go?, where offices let employees take charge for 48 hours to decide the fate of fellow staffers and make overall recommendations for improvement. Billed as “Survivor meets The Office,” the project has been in the works at Fox for four years, with an early harsher draft of the concept drawing some controversy. Below, Fox’s president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell discusses the kinder, gentler Does Someone Have to Go? (preview video below), as well as fall’s newly female-dominated X Factor panel and kid-contestant MasterChef spinoff.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This show has been through some changes since we first heard about it. Can you talk about the evolution of the idea?
Mike Darnell: The initial pitch was when the recession was in full force. Endemol brought me something called Toxic Office. Around the same time I saw a news report about a woman who was having problems with her business and she decided to open up the books to show everybody all the salaries and let them decide how the money should be distributed. Our mistake was not just the timing of the idea, but that it concentrated on businesses with economic problems. This does not. This is about offices with dysfunctional problems. All these are million-dollar businesses. This is not about not making money, but solving dysfunction.
Still, the question is: Will viewers during a semi-insecure economic climate watch a show where everyday folks get fired? READ FULL STORY »