On Sunday Fox cancelled its big-budget “social experiment,” Utopia effective immediately (meaning last Friday’s episode was the series finale).
The 50 million dollar reality TV show Utopia set out to discover what would happen if you put a diverse group of Americans on a ranch in the middle of nowhere to set up a perfect society. Unfortunately for Fox the answer apparently is that nothing terribly interesting happens other than very bad ratings. The harsh reality of low TV ratings cursed Utopia right out of the gate. The two-hour premiere in early September drew a disappointing 4.6 million viewers. By Episode 2, that number fell 46 percent to 2.5 million viewers.
Undoubtedly Fox’s network executives will place the blame at the unconventional conceit of the show: There was no prize, only a goal that these people would set up a perfect society over the course of a year. Sooner or later networks will learn that shows like Utopia and the Colony which are reality shows with a science fiction concepts but won’t succeed without a good science fiction a good science fiction budget and script.
As for Utopia‘s Friday 8 PM slot, Fox will air MasterChef Junior repeats in the hour starting this coming week.