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Friday, April 11, 2014

Want to Help FOX Build a "Utopia"?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM


Can you envision the ideal human society? Are you living it right now on your off-the-grid homestead? Are you so intense about your utopian beliefs that you sometimes find yourself shouting at people who disagree? Do you have skills so useful that you might be able to convince a bunch of opinionated fellow idealists to keep you around? Are you OK with cameras watching you 24/7 and broadcasting your every move to millions of TV viewers?

If you answered yes to these questions, a representative from FOX's forthcoming reality show "Utopia" may just want to meet you. Casting producer Jacqueline Topacio says she'll visit Vermont this coming week to meet with prospective participants. There's no open call: To be considered, you must submit a video at utopiatvcasting.com.  (Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents over age 21 are eligible, and you should be able to commit a complete year to the show.)

"Utopia" is the latest from über-reality producer John de Mol, creator of "Big Brother" and "The Voice." He first tried out the idea in his native Netherlands, where the premiere of "Utopia" pulled such big ratings that U.S. networks showed immediate interest in a version of their own. According to Deadline Hollywood,  "social experiments" like this one could be the "next hot reality format."

And Vermonters know all about social experiments, don't we? Maybe we could even show those Dutch folks a thing or two.

"We need people who are smart and scrappy, who are comfortable on a tractor or a snowmobile," Topacio told the Bennington Banner.

She didn't say that Vermonters who look good in a Speedo or bikini and/or bring the drama are also particularly welcome, but, well, I'm guessing those would not be minuses. Unless de Mol is going for granola-earnest substance over telegenic style this time.

Here's FOX's description of the show from a press release. Will the results of this social experiment be more Lord of the Flies or Lord of the Rings (you know, the idyllic hobbit parts)? You be the judge.

UTOPIA, FOX’s bold new unscripted series that follows a group of everyday people creating their own new civilization, has begun a nationwide search for pioneers to become the first inhabitants of UTOPIA. The series is looking for motivated and adventurous people who possess the passion and determination to create and build a whole new world – just the way they want it! Entrants should express their ideals, beliefs, skill sets and vision for their interpretations of UTOPIA.

UTOPIA will follow 15 inhabitants as they leave their everyday lives to move to a beautiful, but isolated and undeveloped location – for up to an entire year – challenging them to create their own world. The series offers people from across America the chance to be part of a groundbreaking social experiment – the pioneers will make every decision about how they will live, work and what the rules and laws of UTOPIA will be.

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?

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About The Author

Margot Harrison

Margot Harrison

Bio:
Margot Harrison is the Associate Editor at Seven Days; she coordinates literary and film coverage. In 2005, she won the John D. Donoghue award for arts criticism from the Vermont Press Association.

More by Margot Harrison

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