Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Reasons Fox’s UTOPIA Failed!


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!

The host.
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.

The location.
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.

The cast.
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 schedule.
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.

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  • amrie

    If they weren’t horribly banal people, they were horribly aggressive people who fought every 5 minutes. Once the fighting stopped, at least the majority of the fighting, the ratings were already at like, 50% of the premiere numbers. What a waste of an idea!

  • Jeqal

    The ratings were less than 1/2 it started at a 5.5 and ended at a .5, the fightings never really stopped either, and it wasn’t really fighting as much as shouting at the only person who had a degree in starting a new culture. Kinda feels like November elections.

  • Jeqal

    Top 5 reasons why the cast failed.
    1) It was not authentic. Casting from the SAG pool is not the same as casting from the average american pool. It’s unlikely that anyone but one cast member knew the terms “permaculture, secular stagnation, sustainable consumerism”.
    2) Did they find the SAG cast from an AA meeting of which Dave was the leader of?
    3) Revival meeting style conversions and baptisms might work in a storyline like TrueBlood but never something people want to see in a reality show called Utopia. We are seeing where people concerned with other people’s souls lead (ref the Middle East)
    4) Lawyers are trained to interpret existing laws. Lawyers who are SAG and say that they can’t do physical labor, and are more concerned with getting “women in high heels and short skirts” to visit (yes direct quote from lawyer) are maybe best left outside the gates.
    5) If you are going to cast for religion, then let’s get one of each in there, if we have a pastor, lets have a mullah, a priest, a high priestess, a wiccan, an atheist, an agnostic, a buddhist, etc. not a preacher, a missionary, and a random cast of christians who are practicing and non practicing with a solo atheist. WTF kinda crazed torture is that?

  • Evangaline Bee

    Way too many spoiler alerts without the alerts. Did the host really have to tell you what was going to happen just before it happened and keep doing that at every opportunity? This is what made the show unwatchable. Oddly, it was not the far fetched concept or even the flawed cast.