Fox recently cancelled “The X Factor” after three mediocre seasons (both in ratings and in commercial success). Since it’s cancellation yesterday, speculation began as to what might fill the three hour void this fall. Fox could always resort to scripted television, but with the rest of their schedule dedicated to scripted TV, don’t be surprised if these three hours go to “reality” or “alternative” programming as television execs are calling it now-a-days.
“Utopia” – Fox’s latest reality project – may fill that void. “Utopia” is based on a hit Dutch TV series of the same name that places everyday strangers in an isolated, underdeveloped location for a year. Throughout the year, the group is followed by cameras 24/7 and is forced to form their own civilization in which to live.
The show will air both online and on television on a weekly basis. No date has been set for the show, yet Fox does plan to air this for an entire year. John de Mol (“Big Brother”) is signed on as exec producer. De Mol notes, “The key questions ‘Utopia’ asks are ‘Are people able to create an ideal society from scratch? And will it be ultimate happiness or complete chaos?’ What makes this even more interesting to watch, both on television and online, is the question that viewers undoubtedly will ask themselves, ‘What would I do?’”
The pickup is one of the first under new Fox reality chief, Simon Andreae, who released a statement shortly after announcing the pickup.
“’Utopia’ will be the largest, most ambitious social experiment on television, and I’m thrilled that Talpa Media USA has chosen Fox as its U.S. broadcast partner. The series offers people from all walks of life the chance to start all over again and re-write the rules of civilization as we know it. It addresses fascinating and fundamental questions about human law, morality and social structures, wrapped in an irresistible and truly forward-thinking television format.”
“Utopia” definitely sounds, to me, like a mix of reality’s Survivor and Big Brother thrown in with Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games.
Would you watch? Are you looking forward to it? Is a whole year too long? Sound off and let us know what you think!