Fox to Make Layoffs Entertaining

By
Photo: iStockphoto

Fox takes another bold step towards live televised executions today with the announcement of Somebody's Gotta Go, the first-ever reality show (as far as we're aware) that each week will visit a different small business affected by the recession and let employees vote on who among them should be laid off. "It's Survivor meets The Office," says Mike Darnell, the reality-TV asshole behind such classics as Joe Millionaire, Temptation Island, and the aborted O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened.

Gotta Go — already allegedly in production and on schedule to debut late summer or early fall — will focus on small offices of fifteen to twenty people, and those voted out of their jobs will receive only their tiny severance. The companies' books and all human-resources files will be completely opened to the staff, so they'll know each other's salaries and benefits. Also, employees will "get a chance to say, face to face, what they really think of one another," as if this idea really needed to be more horrible seeming.

"For a lot of people, it takes the pressure off them," says David Goldberg, the North American head of Endemol, the company producing the show. "As a boss myself, I don't want to have to make those decisions." It's not yet clear whether employees will have the option to fire upper management.

We can't imagine any universe in which real, recession-affected people might watch something like this, though Americans have certainly surprised us before!

Layoffs get the reality TV treatment [Variety]