Fox expands world with reality formats

Lyle says 'Villa' prompted international imports

Fox Reality has picked up several more unscripted skeins from abroad, including the Australian version of “Playing It Straight” and the U.K.’s “Million Pound Hoax” and several never-before-seen formats including “Treasure Island” and “Jackass”-esque Brit show “The World of Stupid.”

Fox Reality chief operating officer-general manager David Lyle said the channel’s most popular show to date has been tawdry U.K. relationship series “The Villa,” in which participants living together attempt to hook up with their housemates.

“That series has done really well for us,” Lyle said. “It’s attracted a considerable amount of interest and is representative of the reason we’re so keen on bringing in more international shows. Our audience craves reality, and in most cases, these are brand news series for them. In other cases, they’ve seen the show, but we’re bringing them new casts and storylines.”

Fox Reality launched May 24 in more than 18 million homes with roughly 30 shows that included Fox fare “The Swan,” “Joe Millionaire” and “Temptation Island” as well as hits from non-News Corp. outlets like “Last Comic Standing” and “For Love or Money.”

Cabler already airs foreign dating skeins “Single Girls” from the U.K. and “Hooked Up” from Canada, as well as Brit versions of “Temptation Island” and “Joe Millionaire.”

Net also has acquired new-to-the-U.S. programs “Treasure Island,” a scavenger hunt show produced by Touchdown Prods. in New Zealand and Australia; Bullseye Entertainment’s docuseries “Plastic Surgery Laid Bare” and “World of Stupid,” both from the U.K.; Canada’s “The Call,” in which struggling thesps vie for an acting gig; and Australian hours “The Bounty Hunters,” “The Block” and “Renovation Rescue.” Latter is a feel-good home makeover show that preceded “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Lyle said most of the skeins will roll out before the end of the year.

Elsewhere, Fox Reality is sewing up a deal to keep the David Foster show “Princes of Malibu” alive. Series was yanked from the Fox sked after the first two episodes delivered subpar ratings for the network. Lyle confirmed negotiations were underway with producer GRB Entertainment to relocate the show. Cabler hopes to get things locked up in time to air the third episode Sunday night.

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