WOMEN ON TOP: Fox is desperate to recapture their lock on the edgy, ineffably sleazy reality TV genre with When Women Rule The World, which has started production with a projected debut this spring, according to a Variety story. Overseeing the show for the network is Mike Darnell, the man who brought us When Animals Attack!, Temptation Island, and Joe Millionaire.
Those three shows alone made Darnell infamous, as did his role in almost bringing O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here’s How It Happened to the airwaves, but he’s also the man who gave Idol a home at Fox, so you’ve got to know he’s got a lot of I.O.U.s saved up over the years.
The premise for the show is mulishly simple: take 12 smart, attractive women who think that they’ve hit the glass ceiling and make them rulers on an island where another dozen macho dudes who also think men run things are their servants. Well, they’ve all got one thing in common, at least.
The men have to do all the grunt work building their little island home, in addition to tending to the needs of the women. Each week, the women will vote a man off the island, and the last man standing will win a quarter of a million bucks which, while we’re being honest here, doesn’t sound like nearly enough.
Crude as it sounds, it does have the potential for some ugly drama. The women will have to elect a queen who’ll make the big decisions for the group – don’t tell me that doesn’t sound like trouble – and as each man leaves the island, another woman loses her manservant; the conflict between meting out justice on a jerk and getting the sauna and spa finished will become obvious pretty early on.
“What it's doing, in a very Fox-like fashion, is testing social mores," said Fox Entertainment president Peter Liguori. "This is a social experiment and not a sexual experiment. We decided, why not create this Petri dish of a society and see what happens." Right - as long as what happens involves crying and fighting. And chicks in bathing suits.
“Will (the women) be able to create a great society or will they fight with each other?" Liguori asked, obviously anticipating the answer “Well, hey, a bit of both, but mostly the latter. Whoa.” Judging from the first episode of American Idol, Fox has decided to set the dials to “nasty” for the last half of the primetime season – they’re also bringing Hell’s Kitchen back in March, which is taking over The O.C.’s old slot, and is rumoured to be paired with something called Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? Obviously Fox needs a new slogan for this programming move; might I suggest “Fox - What the f**k are you smiling about, moron?”