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Fox’s Utopia experiment over

Utopia1US broadcaster Fox has cancelled big-budget social experiment format Utopia.

Just two months after the show launched on the channel, ratings have proven too low to continue.

This is despite major investment and support in the project from key Fox reality executives, including executive VP, alternative entertainment Simon Andreae.

The show, which comes from John de Mol’s Talpa Media, follows a group of individuals, cut off from the outside world for a year, as they build a new society using basic tools and supplies. Various cameras allow viewers 24/7 online coverage through paid-for ‘Utopia passports’.

It has been hugely successful on its original channel in Holland, Talpa-backed SBS6, where it runs nightly and has been given an indefinite run, and has sold to a number of territories besides the US.

In the US, it was initially placed on Tuesdays and Fridays, but low ratings saw the former slot taken away.

Viewing figures have remained low, and MasterChef Junior will replace it as of this week. Online feeds have also been pulled.

It is the second major international format that has failed in the US in recent months following ABC’s decision to axe singing reality show Rising Star.