Fox to make reality TV show out of layoffs

The Fox network is letting employees of some troubled small businesses decide which one of their colleagues will be laid off and turning the results into a reality show.

NEW YORK — The Fox network is letting employees of some troubled small businesses decide which one of their colleagues will be laid off and turning the results into a reality show.

The series, Someone’s Gotta Go, is in production, but Fox wouldn’t say on Wednesday when it would go on the air.

Each episode will feature a company with about 15 or 20 employees that needs to cut costs because of the economy. Instead of the boss deciding who is fired, the company will open its books to show everyone’s salaries and let the employees make the call.

In an inverse to The Apprentice, the chosen one loses, instead of gets, a job.

Fox is developing the show with Endemol USA, the company behind Big Brother, Deal or No Deal and Fear Factor.

Mike Darnell, chief of alternative programming at Fox, said everyone who participates in the show knows fully what they are doing.

“I feel that it’s part of the times that we are living in,” Darnell said. “It’s certainly no worse than watching the news every night and hearing all the statistics and watching what is happening. To be frank, like all these shows, if you don’t want to watch, don’t watch it.”

Fox wouldn’t reveal the show’s host, which it says is a business consultant.

Darnell, a fan of The Office, said he’d been working with Endemol about a workplace show, perhaps involving an expert coming in to help a dysfunctional workplace, when he saw a news report about a company where the boss couldn’t decide who to lay off and left the job to his employees.

That became the basis for Someone’s Gotta Go.

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