So THIS is what Utopia looks like?
A handful of reporters — including myself — were invited up to the Santa Clarita, California ranch yesterday where a group of 15 adventure seekers will attempt to form their own new society on the new Fox reality show, UTOPIA.
The production crew has been on site for more than three months planting vegetation, creating a giant man-made lake and building the frames of what will be home to the show’s “pioneers.”
Let’s just say it’s a lovely place to visit, but I don’t think I would want to live there.
No running water, no electricity… and this is where the participants will, um…relieve themselves.
Eventually, the group will be allowed to interact with the outside world and raise money to buy supplies and upgrade their standard of living.
Until then, THIS is where they will sleep.
THIS is where they will eat…
And THIS is they will shower…
Food — in the beginning, at least — will likely come from here. This man-made lagoon is stocked with bluegill and catfish. (“We also put a lining on the bottom to prevent ground seepage,” executive producer David Bohnert tells me. “So we conserve water that way.”)
And then there are the animals. The pioneers will be responsible for feeding and caring for two cows and a pen full of chickens.
“If they elect that they want to kill [and eat] them, it has to be done in compliance with all California [laws] and humane way of doing so,” executive producer Conrad Green says.
“It doesn’t make much sense killing egg-laying chickens or dairy cows. But those are the kind of debates they will have to work out as a community. Do they want to pay to feed and give veterinary care to two cows?”
The UTOPIA RANCH is equipped with 130 robotic cameras and a control/surveillance center that would make the FBI envious.
“Just yesterday, we had people up here doing some of this rehearsal process and they said, ‘Once you are in here, you completely forget about the camera,’” Green says.
“So what we will get is a very naturalistic form of story telling.”
UTOPIA will premiere September 7 on Fox.
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