Proposed Fox Reality Show Would Have Employees ‘Firing’ Co-Workers

"Survivor" (Jeff Probst, left) meets "The Office" (Ed Helms) in a new workplace reality series on Fox (Photos: CBS, NBC)

What if TV aired a reality show that had real-life co-workers voting for which one of their own should be laid off?

The answer: Such a show might be titled “Does Someone Have to Go?”

In fact, that is the title of a proposed new competition series for which Fox is reportedly negotiating for four episodes.

The story surfaced late Saturday on a number of entertainment-news Web sites, including this story on

The TV Guide story — and others — note that Fox floated this idea once before, about three years ago.

Back then, the proposed show was titled “Someone Has To Go,” and it would have had cameras visiting companies in financial straits, where co-workers would be seen debating the performances of various co-workers and, ultimately, deciding who “deserved” to be laid off. Yes, really.

Well, that show never came to fruition. This time around, though — according to the stories — the concept and the title (as you may have noticed) have been rejiggered. This time, the companies are not necessarily in bad shape financially; instead, they’re described only as “dysfunctional.” And apparently, the companies who would appear on the show won’t be obligated, under their agreements with the producers, to actually carry out the firings their own employees voted for.

“It’s ‘Survivor’ meets ‘The Office’,” Fox’s reality-TV chief Mike Darnell was quoted as saying, in Daily Variety, in 2009 about the original concept, the TV Guide story says. “When someone is arbitrarily let go, the first reaction usually is ‘How come that person was fired when another idiot is still here?’ This finally gives employees a chance to make that decision instead of a boss.”

The TV Guide story said this show could turn up on the Fox lineup sometime this season.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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