Darnell Stays At Fox, But Upped To Prez, Alternative Entertainment

After months of speculation, Fox has renewed the contract of one of its key senior prime-time programming executives: Mike Darnell.

Darnell had been pursued with major offers, but he will remain with Fox in a new position--president of alternative entertainment.

Darnell has run alternative and reality programming at Fox for years, responsible for "American Idol" and well as host of good performing reality shows, such as "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader," "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" and "So You Think You Can Dance?"

He was also responsible for some of the network's most notorious reality shows, such as "Joe Millionaire," "Temptation Island," "Hell's Kitchen," "The Simple Life" and "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé."

New co-chairman of NBC Entertainment Ben Silverman pursued Darnell the most aggressively, offering him an independent production deal at Universal Media Studios. Darnell was also pursued by Endemol USA and RDF USA.

It wasn't revealed whether Darnell will report directly to Peter Liguori, chairman of Fox Entertainment, or Kevin Reilly, president of Fox Entertainment. Darnell will get some new and desirable responsibilities, including creative control over programs from his division and the ability to greenlight pilots.