Happy Birthday

cityfile · 05/18/09 07:00AM

Tina Fey turns 39 today. Film producer Marty Bregman is turning 78. New York Times columnist Clyde Haberman is 64. Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson is turning 34. Former Yankee Reggie Jackson turns 63. Country music singer George Strait is 57. Hong Kong movie star Chow Yun-Fat is turning 54. Reality TV guru Mike Darnell is 47. Retired French tennis star Yannick Noah turns 49. And child actor Spencer Breslin, the older brother of Abigail Breslin, is turning 17 today.

'Moment Of Truth' Still Chugging Along, Destroying Lives Wherever It Can

Seth Abramovitch · 06/04/08 03:42PM

Our hats are off to the merciful executives who refuse to give up on The Moment of Truth—Fox VP of Satan-Delighting Alternative Programming Mike Darnell's sluggishly paced, polygraphic game show. Week in and week out, it drags itself into the dugout and attempts to deliver on the life-destroying promise it showed at Reality TV spring training, but rarely does it succeed. At best, as in last night's episode, we come away with the mild satisfaction of knowing that things will forever be uncomfortable between that week's featured nymphomaniac and the best friend she's doesn't think will ever have a professional recording career, but has often considered fucking.

Mike Darnell's Near-Perfect Batting Average Muffed By Passing On 'Big Brother: Muppet Edition'

Seth Abramovitch · 05/08/08 11:35AM

Mike Darnell is the undisputed evil genius of reality TV, a fiendish Rumplestiltskin installed high atop a Fox tower, where he oversees day-to-day operations of that network's Dept. of Non-Scripted, Deluge-Summoning Entertainment. Ask anyone who has witnessed Darnell in action, and they'll describe how his mind never stops churning, processing the virtually limitless combinations of millionaires/ abandoned daughters/ homely women he can sequester on islands/ McMansions/ lie-detector-equipped soundstages, confident America will tune in to find out if they forget the lyrics/survive that reindeer attack/are dumber than a 5th grader. THR sat down with Darnell to find out what makes Satan's Primetime Minion tick:

Mike Darnell Attempts To Make Amends For 'Moment' By Busting Deadbeat Dads

Molly Friedman · 04/24/08 05:30PM

Just when we thought reality TV couldn't sink any lower, Fox has officially scraped the bottom of the cringeworthy barrel by ordering a JD Roth-produced pilot called Bad Dads. The series, originally titled Deadbeat Dads until Mike Darnell christened it with its new name, depicts divorced fathers who've refused to pay child support, ambushing them at their ritzy country clubs on camera and forcing them to pay up. Playing the Chris Hansen role is some guy from a child-protection agency, who will go so far as to "make their lives miserable - foreclose on their house...repossess their car...all for a noble cause"! Roth, the reality wunderkind behind The Biggest Loser and Beauty And The Geek, claims the series aims to provide "justice for women." Which sounds lovely, but how exactly will pointing out just how mean and "bad" men are week after week warm our hearts?

'Moment of Truth' Creepily Obsessed With Dudes Who Stuff Their Shorts

mark · 02/07/08 04:22PM

Even if Fox's The Moment Truth never lives up to its Apocalypse-beckoning advance billing , the show will have provided a valuable service to the very society it's so far failed to destroy in exposing a disturbing deception far more widespread than we ever could have imagined: the artificial enhancement of male "packages" by means of designer jean/Dockers/mankini stuffing.

Fox's Evil Reality TV Mastermind Salivates At Very Thought Of Controversial Lie-Detector Show

mark · 11/26/07 04:20PM

In a mere two months, Fox President of Alternative Entertainment and Apocalypse-Beckoning Nonscripted Programming Mike Darnell will proudly debut his latest reality-TV abomination, The Moment of Truth, in which contestants are hooked up to a polygraph, asked a number of revealing personal questions, and then watch as their lives quickly disintegrate when millions of viewers listen to them sheepishly admit that they're no longer sexually attracted to their aging spouses. In an interview with TV Week, a giddy, tumescent Darnell shares that his naughty places haven't tingled like this since he tricked a mansion full of gold-digging women into believing that a dimwitted, part-time banana-hammock model was a filthy rich heir looking for a soulmate to help him enjoy his family fortune:

Zellweger To Be Sassy, Tough In Western

mark · 08/07/07 01:48PM

· Renee Zellweger will star with Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris in the western Appaloosa, which we hope will provide ample opportunity for a spunky, bonnet-rocking Zellweger to fire a shotgun and exclaim, "You git outta my town, ya hear?" in the direction of the movie's "renegade rancher" antagonist. We love it when she does period gritty. [Variety]
· Fox's apocalypse-quickening reality TV guru Mike Darnell consolidates his power within the network by signing a new multiyear deal, officially giving him more autonomy to launch unscripted programming without the interference of other executives who believe that shows like Are You Smarter Than This Recent Massive Head Trauma Victim? might push the envelope a little too far. [THR]
· New Line's Russell Schwartz is ankling as the studio's head of marketing. We just hope that his replacement demonstrates a similar level of vision that will allow future, groundbreaking online promotions involving the performance of virtual cunnilingus on their movie heroes' wives. [Variety]
· Local news icon Hal Fishman, KTLA's anchor of more than 30 years, dies at 75. [THR]
· AMPAS is banning the mailing of For Your Consideration film score and song CDs, decreeing that the music needs to be evaluated in the context of the movie. Composers and studio music execs have begun the process of formally expressing their outrage, possibly by the mass burning of FYC screenplays in protest of the "out of context" principle that might limit voter access to their work. [Variety]

Strike TV Schedule To Make Current Summer Wasteland Look Like Golden Age

mark · 06/05/07 11:48AM

It's been way too long since we've read a good story hinting at the unspeakable horrors that would inevitably follow a potential Writers Guild strike, but today's Variety piece on how a work stoppage will impact reality TV production has at least temporarily given us the testicle-retracting scare we've been craving. While Var says that it's "not necessarily the case" that a strike would good for the unscripted sector, it's impossible not to imagine the networks quickly devolving from the mere reality-riddled disappointments they currently are into full-blown, post-Apocalyptic, Mark-Burnett-controlled hellscapes in which nary a union writer credit will be found: