According to the show’s website, “Utopia” is “the brainchild of reality mastermind John de Mol” and is “not a game. There is no prize.” In addition, “Any colonist who proves to be dispensable within Utopia will risk banishment and can be replaced by a newcomer vying to join.”
The show is slated to continue for a full year – 365 days – and 14 participants will make decisions about their new society. The setting is a remote location in Santa Clarita, California.
One of the colonists, Josh, a general contractor, could be seen Friday evening on “Utopia “ live feeds milling about, appearing to slur his words and become slightly agitated. Some of his fellow colonists attempted to calm him down, but to no avail. As words were exchanged with other participants and things seemed to be getting heated, Red, a handyman, offered to walk with Josh away from the group to diffuse the situation.
As they walked away, something took place, but what exactly happened is unclear. Colonist Dave, was seen running up behind the men and grabbing Josh, but the live feeds cut away to a long view so what transpired and its aftermath could not fully be seen. The participants could be heard talking about security being involved in the matter, and according to Joker’s Updates Utopia Discussion, Dave got involved because he thought he was protecting Red.
The incident was discussed later – sans Josh – among the remaining pioneers, who spoke about whether they wanted him to return to “Utopia.” Some expressed the view that Josh should be given another chance because he was obviously drunk, which likely influenced his behavior. However, others argued that Josh acted inappropriately during interactions earlier in the day. It is unclear whether Josh will return to “Utopia,” however, a majority of the pioneers voted they did not want him back. At press, there was no word on Josh's condition or whether he was injured during the altercation.
If the first day is any indication of how interesting “Utopia” will be, then the show should make for compelling viewing. Especially because one of the colonists, Amanda, is pregnant, but has apparently not divulged that fact to her fellow pioneers.
“Utopia” premieres Part One on Fox on Sept. 7 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Part Two and Part Three of the premiere will air the following Monday and Tuesday nights, and the show will then air every Tuesday with six special Friday airings, according to Variety.