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Old 11-02-2014, 02:07 PM   #1
Sheldon
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Default Fox Cancels 'Utopia,' a Social Experiment That Failed as TV

Fox has pulled the plug on its ambitious reality series “Utopia,” two months into what was supposed to a 12-month, 24/7 chronicle of the efforts of a group of strangers to create a new society while living in isolation on a ranch in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Fox said it would pull the plug on its live stream of the activities on the compound later today. The show had been airing in the Friday 8 p.m. slot, although it was off the air two weeks ago while Fox carried post-season baseball games. As of this Friday the show will be replaced by “Masterchef Junior” reruns.

The cancellation is not surprising. The show launched on Sept. 7 with a plan to air twice a week, in addition to the live feeds available via UtopiaTV.com. But the Tuesday edition of “Utopia” was quickly yanked due to low ratings. The most recent Friday airings delivered a 0.7 rating in the adults 18-49 demo.

“Utopia” was based on a hit Dutch format by reality mastermind John de Mol of Talpa Media. But the U.S. version was clearly out of step with contemporary tastes and required a big commitment from viewers at a time when there are more choices than ever. Part of the plan was for Fox to charge $5 a month for access to multiple live streaming feeds from the “Utopia” compound.

“Utopia” underwent hasty revisions to add more urgency to the show, including the twist of having one of the 15 participants eliminated periodically. But viewers never responded.

SOURCE: Variety.com
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