Game show veteran Bob Boden last week was tapped as VP of programming for the planned Fox Reality Channel.
Mr. Boden was hired by Fox Reality Chief Operating Officer and General Manager David Lyle, former president of entertainment for FremantleMedia, who joined the network in December. Mr. Boden will serve as head of programming for the new network.
Previously Mr. Boden served as senior VP of programming for the Game Show Network (now GSN) and a senior VP for Dick Clark Productions. Mr. Boden has also held executive positions at FX and The Family Channel (now ABC Family) and has produced several game shows, including “Greed” and “Family Feud.”
Mr. Boden said his game show and GSN experience will serve him well at Fox Reality Channel.
“I think the essence of the best reality is great storytelling, but a major element of many reality shows is game play and strategy and those are elements that cross over into the game show world,” Mr. Boden said.
Fox Reality Channel is planning a schedule of original series combined with off-network reruns from Fox-owned studios and other sources, including foreign acquisitions. The channel will also have entertainment news shows that cover reality programs on other networks. Currently the network is claiming distribution of 17.5 million, from DISH Network, Cox Communications and Fox Entertainment Group-owned DirecTV.
Though aiming for a summer launch, no firm date has been set. A spokesperson said the network is working on developing a tagline, designing an original look and feel and finding compatible programming.
One potential stumbling block for a network seeking to cover the full spectrum of reality television is a lack of cooperation from other networks. ABC attempted to launch a reality awards show in 2003, but was stymied by rival networks who blocked access to program clips and talent.
The presence of the News Corp. venture has made the distribution marketplace tougher for the U.K.-based Reality TV cable network and the start-up effort Reality 24/7, headed by CEO Larry Namer and USA Networks founder Kay Koplovitz. Reality 24/7 originally was scheduled to launch last year.