You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Big Donor Show’ causes storm

Reality show readies for debut

While the storm over Dutch reality program “The Big Donor Show” continued to spread, Endemol insiders were suggesting that tonight’s screening of the program will surprise those critics who have called for it be shelved.

Officially, Endemol execs are refusing to comment on the 80-minute show, in which contestants will have a chance to receive a kidney transplant from a terminally ill woman. However, a press conference will be held immediately after the program airs, and Dutch station BNN continues to insist that its intention is to raise awareness over the lack of organ donors in the Netherlands.

The show, in which three seriously ill patients will vie to receive a kidney donated by a 37-year-old woman dying of cancer, has drawn widespread criticism across Europe, with politicians, patients and medical professionals slamming the premise as highly unethical and immoral.

On Wednesday, EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou joined the debate, dismissing BNN’s claims that the program will help to encourage more donors to come forward, while Ray Mackey, co-chairman of the British National Kidney Federation, has branded the concept “totally abhorrent.”

In the U.K., Endemol has been keen to distance itself from the show, which it says was developed by BNN. However, one former Endemol exec noted the concept had been kicking around the producer for a number of years.

Though a public broadcaster, BNN has a reputation for airing controversial programming. Last year, for example, the station came in for criticism when it aired “Over My Dead Body,” which followed five terminally ill young people over the course of a year. However, reaction to the show was largely positive, and it went on to draw a prize at the 2006 Dutch TV Awards.

Patrick Lodiers, who hosted that show, will also present “The Big Donor Show,” which is billed as a tribute to BNN founder Bart de Graaft, who died of kidney failure five years ago.

More TV

  • Sky Takeover: Auction Set for Comcast,

    Sky Takeover: Comcast, Fox to Duke It Out in Weekend Auction

    While the storm over Dutch reality program “The Big Donor Show” continued to spread, Endemol insiders were suggesting that tonight’s screening of the program will surprise those critics who have called for it be shelved. Officially, Endemol execs are refusing to comment on the 80-minute show, in which contestants will have a chance to receive […]

  • Jodie Whittaker Portrait

    Jodie Whittaker on Taking Over 'Doctor Who' and Why She Knows She's Getting Equal Pay

    While the storm over Dutch reality program “The Big Donor Show” continued to spread, Endemol insiders were suggesting that tonight’s screening of the program will surprise those critics who have called for it be shelved. Officially, Endemol execs are refusing to comment on the 80-minute show, in which contestants will have a chance to receive […]

  • 'AHS: Apocalypse' Recap: The Rubber Man

    'American Horror Story' Recap: The Rubber Man Returns in 'The Morning After'

    While the storm over Dutch reality program “The Big Donor Show” continued to spread, Endemol insiders were suggesting that tonight’s screening of the program will surprise those critics who have called for it be shelved. Officially, Endemol execs are refusing to comment on the 80-minute show, in which contestants will have a chance to receive […]

  • Julie Chen hosts Big Brother. BIG

    Julie Chen Continues to Use Married Name on 'Big Brother' After 'The Talk' Exit

    While the storm over Dutch reality program “The Big Donor Show” continued to spread, Endemol insiders were suggesting that tonight’s screening of the program will surprise those critics who have called for it be shelved. Officially, Endemol execs are refusing to comment on the 80-minute show, in which contestants will have a chance to receive […]

  • Josh Meyers'Nasty Baby' film premiere, Los

    Josh Meyers to Star in Homeowner Association Comedy in Development at NBC

    While the storm over Dutch reality program “The Big Donor Show” continued to spread, Endemol insiders were suggesting that tonight’s screening of the program will surprise those critics who have called for it be shelved. Officially, Endemol execs are refusing to comment on the 80-minute show, in which contestants will have a chance to receive […]

  • SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal on Television Animation

    SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal on Television Animation Contract

    While the storm over Dutch reality program “The Big Donor Show” continued to spread, Endemol insiders were suggesting that tonight’s screening of the program will surprise those critics who have called for it be shelved. Officially, Endemol execs are refusing to comment on the 80-minute show, in which contestants will have a chance to receive […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content