It was billed as one of the most ambitious reality programs ever… so why did Fox’s Utopia, which was supposed to unfold over the course of a year, bite the dust after only two months? Great question… and here’s our theories!
Simon Andreae, executive vice president of alternative series for Fox, described Dan Piaro to TV Guide as “Teddy Roosevelt meets Sigmund Freud in the 21st Century.” It was his voice that executive producer Jon Kroll first fell in love with, and we can’t help but think putting Piaro on camera was a big, big mistake.
At a reported cost of $50 million, the colony was buit in Santa Clarita, California. And while it seems like you should be able to get a lot for that much cash, on-screen, Utopia looked less like a Garden of Eden and more like the worst dude ranch you ever booked a vacation to.
The lack of challenges.
Most reality shows have… well, a point. You’d think building a new society would be exciting but, as it turns out, it’s really not. When fighting over whether or not to get a water purification system is the biggest development in an episode, you’ve got problems.
They were, as a whole, uninteresting. And if you’re going to populate a show with uninteresting people, they’d better at least be gorgeous. The Utopian’s, sadly, were neither.
The show debuted on Sunday, arguably the most clogged night of the viewing week. It then began airing on Tuesdays and Fridays. Except when it didn’t, because it was yanked for baseball. Or only airing on Friday.