EmptyFox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell is responsible for some of the most vilified reality series ever created — "The Swan," "Married by America," "Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire?" and "Temptation Island." Yet members of Hollywood's creative community routinely describe him, without blinking, as a genius. This past year, it's been easy to see why: Darnell's track record for creating successful unscripted titles during a difficult period for freshman broadcast series has been nearly perfect. He's launched "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" "Don't Forget the Lyrics," "Kitchen Nightmares" and the season's highest-rated new show, "The Moment of Truth."
Darnell spoke to THR about the ratings decline of "American Idol"; the one series he wishes didn't air; and his best idea that you've never seen.