Following Mike Darnell's announcement about his resignation, Fox Networks group chairman and CEO Peter Rice and Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly have tapped David Hill to oversee the production on its two hit reality shows, "American Idol" and "The X Factor (US)". The News Corp senior executive vice president, however, will act as a temporary supervising executive for both shows.
As emphasized by a representative for the network, Hill is not a replacement for the departing alternative programming president Darnell. Hill will take on the more traditional network-producer relationship while the company continues its search for the right man to fill the post left by Darnell. The new reality chief will focus on development.
Hill is reportedly chosen because of his experience with live events. A source says, "They see a strong transition in David. These shows are well-oiled machines in some cases. He'll serve as the main person from the network who'll focus on them while a new as-yet-undetermined reality head will focus on development while getting up to speed on everything already in production and the pipeline."
Hill, who previously ran Fox Sports Media Group, has been charged with launching new networks and digital initatives, including the launch of Fox Sports Japan and the upcoming launch of Fox Sports 1. The Australia native is known as being "outspoken," a "swashbuckler," a "tough guy," a "mad genius," and "the Roger Ailes of sports."
Darnell's departure aside, "American Idol" has a lot to adjust to in the upcoming season since it will reportedly have a whole new judge line-up. Longtime executive producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warrick are reported not to return as well.