On the heels of a classic April 1 blog post on The Core, busting out the “news” that “Dan’l to Star in New Hit Reality TV Show with Karaoke Twist,” I almost hesitate to mention another reality-TV themed note that also arrived in my inbox April 1. However, this one - from all appearances - is real.
Here is the text of the note:
My name is Suzanne, and I am working on a new series for Fox Television called Utopia. This series will follow a group of 15 people as they work together to create a new society of their choosing. We will film them 24 hours a day for up to a year.
I am trying to find people who would love the challenge of creating an entirely new society. I am also looking for people who are growing produce and working with the land. Actually, I am looking for all kinds of life experiences and skill sets, but I thought I would limit them because of who your audience is.
I would love to get the word out to people. I think this is a unique opportunity for people who’ve always wanted to do something like this.
I was hoping you could post my flyer to your blog and any social media pages you have. People can contact the site on the flyer or contact me at this address - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am attaching a flyer and press release. I hope you will help put the word out - I thank you in advance for your help! Please call me with any questions!
The Conlin Company www.theconlincompany.com
There is media coverage beginning to percolate about the show, with a report of a casting call for the third week of April in Vermont.
The show’s website has more info on the show and the casting process.
Here is the text from the flyer:
FOX CHALLENGES PARTICIPANTS TO CREATE A PERFECT “UTOPIA,” IN BOLD NEW UNSCRIPTED SOCIAL EXPERIMENT
Ambitious Project Created and Executive-Produced by John de Mol
To Air on FOX and Online
Can a perfect world be created? From unscripted mastermind John de Mol, and based on the hit Dutch television series of the same name, UTOPIA is a bold new unscripted series that moves a group of everyday people to an isolated, undeveloped location – for an entire year – and challenges them to create their own civilization.
“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,” said Simon Andreae, Executive Vice President of Alternative Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company. ”The series offers people from all walks of life the chance to start all over again and re-write 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.”
“FOX’s speed and passion for the project, combined with its pioneering reputation in the unscripted field, make it the perfect home for this unique proposition,” said de Mol. “The key questions UTOPIA asks are ‘Are people able to create an ideal society from scratch, without a given leader and without any rules? 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?’” With no existing power structures and limited amenities, these “pioneers” must draw on their own ideals and everything they know about societies around the world, to create a new one…will it be better? Will they rewrite the rules they have always lived by? Will they falter or prosper? As the Utopians build the new society, every decision counts.
Each must try to become indispensable to the group or risk being exiled to their regular lives and replaced by potential newcomers who have been vying to join. With cameras following the Utopians 24/7, viewers can watch their society unfold, both weekly on FOX and also online. As they observe the inhabitants living together, and building their new existence, viewers themselves will have the chance to become a valuable and powerful asset to the community, and ultimately to question whether Utopia remains an elusive but alluring fantasy,or whether the pioneers have truly realized their dream. “Utopia,” which debuted in The Netherlands earlier this month, was an instant sensation, ranking as one of SBS 6’s highest-rated premieres in six years. On the first night, the debut achieved more than 25% market share in the country’s key 20-49 demographic. On the second night, the series retained most of its launch audience with a 24.5% market share.
UTOPIA is a presentation of Talpa Media USA. The show is created by John de Mol who will also executive-produce.
TK: What produce grower/marketers come to mind as strong contestants for Utopia? How about Kyle Mathison of Stemilt, or Tony DiMare of the DiMare Co.? Dan’l Mackey Almy may not be a grower, but she could no doubt hold her own in reality TV, with or without karaoke. Who are your top two candidates? Stenzel and Silbermann? Jungmeyer and Brown? If you can spare a year, Fox may just be looking for you.