The low-rated reality-social experiment will be replaced by repeats of “MasterChef Junior”
Fox’s “Utopia” is no more.
The network has canceled its reality-social experiment after consistently low ratings. It will be pulled from the schedule starting next Friday and will be replaced by repeats of “MasterChef Junior” in the 8 p.m. timeslot.
The live stream camera feeds will be pulled down on Sunday afternoon.
The decision arrives after the series’ Halloween Friday episode earned a dismal 0.5 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, a 27 percent drop, and 1.56 million total viewers.
But really the show, which was to be in production for 12 months and live-streamed 24/7 online, was effectively marked for death last month when Fox pulled “Utopia” from its Tuesday airings earlier than it had programmed.
Adapted from a Dutch model created by “Big Brother” and “The Voice” producer John de Mol, Fox’s executive vice president of alternative entertainment, Simon Andreae, preemptively took “Utopia” off the market in January ahead of a possible bidding war.
There was some executive clash within Fox over the show’s costs and whether the Dutch show’s ratings supported the gamble, though Andreae said on a press call that the broadcasting company’s top execs are “pretty happy and relaxed to embrace the risk.”
Fox Television Group co-chairman and co-CEO Dana Walden said in a discussion with TheWrap that she and the network’s managers weren’t put off by the numbers and were going to give it some time.
“No one thought we were going to launch a huge ratings juggernaut, but with patience it will grow and we’re going to have patience,” she said at the time.
To the network’s credit, it gave “Utopia” two months to find an audience — much longer than a show with its ratings would normally get.