FOX is going big with its newest reality show: “Utopia” will send contestants to a remote location for an entire year and enlist them to build their own civilization — sort of like a combination between “Survivor,” PBS’ “Frontier House” and “Lord of the Flies.”
The network announced the ambitious new project in a press release on Thursday (Jan. 23). “‘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,” says new FOX reality head Simon Andreae. “The series offers people from all walks of life the chance to start all over again and rewrite 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.”
The show, from producer John de Mol (“The Voice”), is based on the Dutch hit of the same name that just debuted to record ratings in the Netherlands. Says de Mol in the release, “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?'”
Cameras will record the pioneers 24/7, and viewers will be able to watch online and on weekly FOX broadcasts. Contestants must make themselves “indispensable to the group or risk being exiled to their regular lives and replaced by potential newcomers who have been vying to join.”
There’s no word yet on a premiere date for the show.