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Darnell: When Limbo Feels Like Purgatory

July 22, 2007 1:17 PM

Fox reality guru Mike Darnell swears that – really, truly – he has not yet decided whether he will renew his contract. The executive is still on the fence about whether to become a independent producer with a presumably lucrative deal at NBC, or soldier on as reality overlord at Fox.

Thing is, nobody is more bothered by his indecision than Darnell himself. “I have not slept at all,” he says.

Head of scheduling Preston Beckman jokes he should start charging Darnell by the hour for his 4 a.m. calls, when Darnell phones to discuss his latest dealmaking pros and cons.

One thing Darnell is sure about: His upcoming “Hell’s Kitchen” spinoff “Kitchen Nightmares” is, he says, “the best reality show we’ve ever done.”

As for another new Fox reality effort, the “Laguna Beach”-style docu-soap reality series “Nashville,” Darnell grins. “I had nothing to do with it,” he says. “That's all I’m saying.”

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