Reality show puts firing power in the hands of employees

An advertisement for the Fox reality TV show "Does Someone Have To Go?"

If there's one place where we all have control issues it's the workplace. Sometimes it feels as though you've got no control, especially when the economy's bad, and people are getting laid off. It's bad enough in real life. Do we really want to watch workplace control issues play out on TV? Fox thinks we do!

 

Fox's new reality show "Does Someone Have to Go?" puts the power into the hands of co-workers, who will vote on who should be fired. Cris Abrego is the executive producer of the show. He says the show is like "Survivor" meets "The Office."

"I've always wanted to do something in the workspace. I think it's something we're all fascinated with," says Abrego. "What is the one thing everybody can relate to? In going around my office and talking to people, the one thing everyone related to was that most of the time, in most offices, they think they know better than the boss."

The show allows co-workers to test that idea by giving them the ability to fire their colleagues if they feel that's what should be done in order to fix the office.

A pilot for the series was shot in 2008, so why is it now premiering? Abrego says an earlier version of the show was focused on the economy -- and with the Great Recession, the timing was obviously off. The show has since been retooled to focus on office personnel issues.

But with the economy and jobs still in the forefront of people's minds, is this the right time to premiere a show like this?

"That's not what the show is about. Think about someone who does have a job and is not doing their job," says Abrego. "It's not about just firing someone simply for the sake of just, hey, I don't like you. It's not a popularity contest. These employees took it serious. They evaluate each person's value to the company and then they make a decision."

One interesting aspect of the show -- workers' salaries are revealed, which factors into deciding whether an employee should go.

"I generally learned a lot. It was wild," says Abrego. "We did four different offices and I learned they shared a lot of similarities. I learned that there's a lot that the employees have on their chests that they want to get off. They generally don't have a voice. And this, once they've been given this voice, they took it with a lot of responsibility."


Have you ever thought about who you would get rid of at your job if you had the power? We haven't either. That's why we created this poll -- Which TV character would you fire? Vote below!

    

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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