Fox strike protection: Reality

Skeins saved for 2001-02 season

With a potential writers strike casting a pall over the 2001-02 season, Fox is starting to get real: Web has renewed “Guinness World Records: Primetime” and “World’s Wildest Police Videos” as backup skeins.

Net has ordered 15 episodes of LMNO Prods.’ “Guinness,” which chronicles various extremes achieved by humans. While the show will be available to Fox as early as midseason 2000-01, industry insiders said it’s more likely Fox will save the episodes to use as possible replacement programming should a strike break out next summer.

Fox also has greenlit eight hourlong segs of Stojanovich Prods.’ “Police Videos,” which assembles footage of assorted police actions. Though “Police Videos” might also be saved for the strike, the skein will more probably be used as a midseason replacement for one of Fox’s failed fall contenders.

Fox execs have publicly declared their intent to stay away from shock reality specs like “When Good Pets Go Bad,” but net insiders now consider “Guinness” and “Police Videos” programming of a more mild ilk.

The possibility of a strike — not to mention the success of skeins like “Survivor” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”– has all six webs looking at ways to get more reality programming into their production outlines.

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