Fox Making Layoffs into Reality Show

By Alan Stewart Carl | Related entries in Business, Economy, recession, Television

So, the ever-sophisticated minds at the Fox network have decided the recession could make for quality entertainment. The network plans to air a reality series where employees at struggling small businesses will decide who among them will be laid off (as distinct from the boss making the decision).

Fox is attempting to position the show, called “Someone’s Gotta Go,” as less about reveling in other people’s misfortune and more about promoting employee empowerment. You see, the companies will disclose all employee’s salaries, thus allowing colleagues to make sure a deserving person isn’t terminated.

While I am a strong supporter of salary transparency in the workplace, that’s hardly the point behind the show. Fox is just trying to turn a very real and difficult problem into entertainment. What’s next? A reality program where transplant patients vote on who should get stuck at the end of the transplant list? Maybe we can set up some cameras outside a shelter and get homeless people to vote on which of them has to sleep outside once the shelter is full?

As to why any self-respecting small business owner would agree to be a part of Fox’s show, maybe the network is paying the businesses significant money (Fox hasn’t released details on any payments). Or maybe the business owners hope the exposure on national television will help elevate sales. If companies are in bad enough shape, I can see why they’d be willing to try anything.

But I’m not sure what Fox’s motivation is. The show makes the network look callous and, without being an expert in television programming, I’m hard pressed to identify what the intended audience is for a show that reminds viewers we’re in a recession and times are pretty crappy.

All said, it’s not that big of a deal. But I thought it worth a mention. I’m sure the marketplace will quickly determine whether or not Fox has made a mistake with this show.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 and is filed under Business, Economy, recession, Television. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Fox Making Layoffs into Reality Show”

  1. Chris Says:

    “I’m hard pressed to identify what the intended audience is for a show that reminds viewers we’re in a recession and times are pretty crappy.”

    I’m guessing white, middle aged, lower class, southern, republicans.

  2. Shibby Says:

    True story. My cousin works as an intern trying to break into the television and movie business. He was recently told me about an idea that came up at a meeting he was at for a new reality TV show.

    It involved having a group of orphans compete against each other to see which one of them would be adopted.

    Apparently there were no objections…

  3. The Maine View Says:

    Remember all those 90s Fox reality shows? When (insert animal here) attacks, Alien Autopsy 1-15, etc?

    Well what’s old is new again.

  4. kranky kritter Says:

    Every time you think TV can’t get shallower, they splash more water out of the pool. I am well beyond expressing any sort of amazement or dismay about this. TV networks operate on a single imperative, ratings. So is doing this show because they believe people will watch. It is what it is.

    For whatever reason, it has conclusively been proven (previously and repeatedly), that many folks will watch others demean themselves, display emotional suffering, grovel, and plot venally. Enough folks gobble it up to make presenting such a show lucrative. That represents the complete extent of the calculus behind a TV network’s motives. They are in the business of selling viewer eyeballs to marketing departments. There is nothing else to it.

  5. Agnostick Says:

    How can anyone forget, Maine View? Rupert Murdoch will sensationalize and pornify anything and everything, just to make a quick buck.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Rupert Murdoch is a class-A, #1 example of hypocrisy, profiteering, and racketeering… packaged in the body of a doddering old media whore.

    On the so-called “Faux News Channel,” Murdoch shapes and markets so-called “infotainment” that supposedly appeals to the conservative, God-fearing, red-white-&-blue baseball-hot dogs-apple pie-&-Chevrolet patriot. The Liberal is the enemy! Values and morality must be maintained at all costs.

    Meanwhile, over on “Fox”… a wide variety of humanity’s faults, failings, and idiosyncrasies are mined for their entertainment value. Things like…

    shoddily-arranged marriages for money, and greed

    human greed

    fat/ugly jokes

    infidelity

    family dysfunction

    low-level dwarf humor

    and sexual identity/transgender issues.

    Seriously… it’s like Rupert Murdoch is pontificating with one hand above the table, while his other hand is under the table masturbating.

    This is yet another reason why I don’t watch or trust Faux News. Sure, you can argue all you want, “They’re separate entities! FNC has nothing to do with Fox or FX!”

    Beaver biscuits! I guaran-fracking-tee you that if this new unemployment show was being proposed by any other network, O’Reilly and Hammity would each spend a week with their respective whips, scourging their meat of choice; instead, because it’s a Fox show, this’ll get a week’s worth of promos towards the end of “Fox Report with Shepherd Smith.”

    Agnostick
    [email protected]

  6. Trescml Says:

    KK has it right. The show is being made because Fox thinks people will watch it. The way to keep these shows being being pitched is not watching them. In extreme cases you can boycott the network.

  7. Agnostick Says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Rupert Murdoch is a class-A, #1 example of hypocrisy, profiteering, and racketeering… packaged in the body of a doddering old media whore.

    On the so-called “Faux News Channel,” Murdoch shapes and markets so-called “infotainment” that supposedly appeals to the conservative, God-fearing, red-white-&-blue baseball-hot dogs-apple pie-&-Chevrolet patriot. The Liberal is the enemy! Values and morality must be maintained at all costs.

    Meanwhile, over on “Fox”… a wide variety of humanity’s faults, failings, and idiosyncrasies are mined for their entertainment value. Things like…

    shoddily-arranged marriages for money, and greed

    human greed

    fat/ugly jokes

    infidelity

    family dysfunction

    low-level dwarf humor

    and sexual identity/transgender issues.

    Seriously… it’s like Rupert Murdoch is pontificating with one hand above the table, while his other hand is under the table masturbating.

    This is yet another reason why I don’t watch or trust Faux News. Sure, you can argue all you want, “They’re separate entities! FNC has nothing to do with Fox or FX!”

    Beaver biscuits! I guaran-fracking-tee you that if this new unemployment show was being proposed by any other network, O’Reilly and Hammity would each spend a week with their respective whips, scourging their meat of choice; instead, because it’s a Fox show, this’ll get a week’s worth of promos towards the end of “Fox Report with Shepherd Smith.”

    Agnostick
    [email protected]

  8. Kevin Jackson Says:

    On the other hand they have given us Family Guy and The Simpsons

  9. The Maine View Says:

    Family Guy and The Simpsons have not aged like a fine wine. I will give Simpsons credit for being on this long though.

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