Fox prepares for Utopia

Big Brother creator John de Mol’s hot new reality format Utopia has been bought by Fox.

de_molThe programme will see a group of strangers work together to create a perfect society over a year, with minimal supplies and cameras following their every move 24/7 online and broadcast weekly on Fox for US broadcast television.

TBI understands that rights holder Talpa Media are also in advanced negotiations with Germany’s RTL for a localised version of the format.

Maarten Meijs, the managing director of Talpa Distribution, told TBI that around 15 territories in total have shown an interest and added: “It’s difficult to call out a number, but of course we would like to do it in as many places as possible.”

The Utopia format first debuted in the Netherlands on broadcaster SBS 6 on 6 January, and scored well above average ratings of 1.6 million for its premiere.

Utopia creator and exec producer de Mol said: “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.”

Simon Andreae, Fox’s executive VP of alternative entertainment added: “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.”

The deal marks Andreae’s first major commission since joining the company last October in place of long-time incumbent Mike Darnell.