FOX retreating from Utopia reality series

2014-10-02_1409One of those other Utopias has made news in the US today after FOX network pulled its Tuesday scheduling, effective immediately.

The big-budget John de Mol reality experiment, which puts contestants into a simulated pioneering community for 12 months, is just about as grand as they come.

The show had been airing twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, but will now air just on Friday nights following disappointing ratings. Junior MasterChef will now air on Tuesdays after two weeks of Family Guy, The Simpsons and Bob’s Burgers repeats.

The show’s ambitious pitch has been viewed with much interest. Last week it introduced eliminations to the cast.

LA Times notes, “Utopia came with a big price tag that some reports indicated were as high as $50 million, although executives denied it was quite that much. And it was also a linchpin for the network’s new fall rollout of other shows.”

After middling numbers, FOX Television Group chairmen Dana Walden told the Hollywood Reporter,”We’re definitely going to exhibit patience.

“What exactly that means, it’s hard to tell. I’d say that as long as we’re feeling creatively satisfied with the show, we’re going to do everything in our power to give it an opportunity to thrive and grow.”

Even in American television network execs say one thing and mean another once they see the numbers.


  1. It’s an interesting concept. The show runs for 12 months so maybe ratings may grow over time.
    I’d be willing to watch this show twice a week over a year as long as the contestants don’t just wash rocks the whole time.

  2. Linchpin for their fall rollout is a bit of an exaggeration. They launched Utopia early hoping ti would compete against The Voice. But what is was support was New Girl and The Mindy Project (which got a surprise part-season renewal to fill a hole).

    Gotham did better for them on Monday. It dropped in week 2 but so did TBBT when paired with a repeat on CBS.

    Tuesday and Friday nights is an interesting pair and one suspects that leaving it on Friday was a plan B incase it tanked. The idea that they hope it could “thrive and grow” on Friday nights is something straight out of Episodes.

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