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Fox Cable shutting down Fox Reality Channel cable network


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/15/2009 

Fox Cable Networks has announced that Fox Reality Channel -- which launched in 2005 and is currently available in nearly 50 million homes -- will cease operations on March 31.

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"With the changing cable landscape, we've made a strategic decision to shift some resources and refocus on emerging channels," Fox Cable Networks said in a Wednesday media statement.

"However, Fox Reality Channel will remain on on our lineup for at least the next several months."

Fox Reality Channel president David Lyle told broke the news to the network's staff on Wednesday following Tuesday night's filming of the network's annual Really Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, according to reports.

The event will air October 17 on Fox Reality Channel.

According to Lyle, the decision was the end result of a review of the network's branding.

"When you open the door to change, you can never be sure what will come through it," Lyle told thewrap.com. 

"We've come to realize that reality isn't really a niche.  It's a production method. Not everyone likes every sort of reality program. You can't do a comedy channel and call it 'Three-Camera Comedy.'"

Fox Cable Networks began developing Fox Reality Channel in 2004 and it subsequently launched in May 2005 and primarily aired repeats of old American reality shows -- including Outback Jack, Beauty and Geek, Blind Date and The Amazing Race -- and foreign reality series.

However the network also developed several original programs over the years, including American Idol Extra, Solitary, Househusbands of Hollywood, The Academy, My Bare Lady, The Search for the Next Elvira, Gimme My Reality Show! and Reality Remix.  It also teamed with MyNetworkTV and revived Paradise Hotel early last year.

Earlier this year, the network had also announced it was beginning production on Seducing Cindy, a reality dating series starring model Cindy Margolis. 

"I'm proud of what we got on air and how we got it on air," Lyle told thewrap.com. "We got on air in like three or four months. And I'm also proud of the financials. We weren't supposed to be in profit until 2013. We got there in 2007."

According to thewrap.com. a complete rebranding of the network -- which would include a new name and different focus as well as the possible addition of an outside partner -- is currently in the works.  Several Fox Cable networks already operate with oustide partners, including Big Ten Network and National Geographic Channel.

Since a relaunch could take more time than the March 31 date, Fox Reality Channel could continue with series and specials already in its library until the rebranding is complete, according to thewrap.com.  In addition, the relaunch could also occur before March 31.

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