Fox taps Simon Andreae as new reality programming chief

Fox taps Simon Andreae as new reality programming chief
Simon Andreae is joining Fox as head of alternative entertainment. (Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images)

Fox Broadcasting has tapped former Discovery Channel programming executive Simon Andreae as its new executive vice president of alternative entertainment.

Andreae will attempt to fill the big shoes left by Mike Darnell, who had been president of alternative entertainment for the network until leaving last May. Darnell, who played a key role in the success of "American Idol," is now in a similar role at Warner Bros.

"This was a highly sought-after role in town, and given Fox's legacy in groundbreaking unscripted entertainment, we were looking for a particular caliber of executive – and we found the perfect fit in Simon," said Kevin Reilly, Fox Broadcasting's chairman of entertainment.

Andreae will oversee the network's unscripted programming including "American Idol" and "The X Factor." He will work closely with David Hill, the former head of Fox Sports who was brought in to oversee the day-to-day operations of those two shows.

Most recently, Andreae was senior vice president of development and production at Discovery Channel's West Coast unit. He was involved in the launching of Discovery's reality shows "Naked and Afraid" and "Plane Crash."

Before joining Discovery, Andreae was president of the Incubator, a production company that created shows for Spike, USA, Discovery and several other cable channels.


Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.