Fox to Launch Reality Channel

FOX Networks Group plans to launch a reality television cable network early next year, pushing back at rivals who have said FOX Broadcasting was stealing their ideas.

The FOX Reality Channel will debut in the first three months of 2005 with new and repeat performances from FOX, known for shows like "American Idol" (search) and "The Simple Life," (search) as well as outtakes and interviews, foreign adaptations of popular concepts and shows from other production companies.

The network will also back up programs on the main FOX channel with extra material, it said.

The scrappy FOX broadcast network has yet to comment on criticism from rivals that it has stolen their ideas for new reality shows, mounting a boxing show after NBC decided to do so and debuting "Trading Spouses," a show about parents from different families switching places, ahead of "Wife Swap" on ABC, which first came up with the idea.

There are already two other reality cable channels, "Reality Central" and "Reality TV."

A FOX spokesman said it has not named an executive to head the channel as yet.

FOX is a division of News Corp., which also owns The New York Post and