The reality show that strands 15 people for a year with farm animals and electricity

Last night, Big Brother creator John De Mol launched a new series in the Netherlands, one that strands 15 people for a year to start a new society. It’s like Big Brother except without the challenges, manipulation, and everything else that’s part of Big Brother.

Utopia is loosely based on the Thomas More novel of the same name. The show’s web site says that the 15 participants get only “a bare warehouse on a raw piece of land, a small herd, a connection to water and electricity, a telephone and a sum of money in cash to build their habitat and survival.”

AFP reported that De Mol told another paper that producers “have no say. …It’s a social experiment in which we basically just record.” They’re filmed Big Brother-style with around 100 cameras, and new episodes air on TV five nights a week; there are also live feeds. Contestants will face some kind of elimination.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.