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Fox shutting down reality cable channel

October 14, 2009 |  3:55 pm

Reality as a genre may still be hot, but it's not enough to sustain a cable channel.

News Corp. is shuttering its 4-year-old Fox Reality Channel (what, you mean you didn't know there was a Fox Reality Channel?). The channel, which was available in about 50 million homes, never really established itself in the ratings but did provide a home for reality reruns such as "The Amazing Race" and "Beauty and the Geek." It had a handful of original shows as well. News of the decision was broken by The Wrap.

Although the channel will go away next March, Fox is keeping the real estate and will look to launch a new channel in its place, possibly with an outside partner, per The Wrap. After all, you don't just walk away from 50 million homes. Because of the leverage Fox has with its stronger cable networks, including FX, it was able to get a decent license fee of about 9 cents per subscriber for Fox Reality even though its ratings didn't really merit that cost, according to Kagan Media. 

A Fox spokesman said, "With the changing cable landscape we've made a strategic decision to shift some resources and refocus on emerging channels. However, Fox Reality Channel will remain on on our lineup for at least the next several months."

If Fox Reality wasn't emerging and it sure wasn't established, then what was it?

Guess we'll never know.

-- Joe Flint