From Paradise to Eden – Fox Prepares for Reality Soap Opera
by David Bloomberg -- 12/22/2003
Fox has joined up once again with the producers of Paradise Hotel to expand and improve upon the concept. Starting in the Spring, expect to see Forever Eden, the first reality show without a definite end date – but with soap opera tendencies.
When Paradise Hotel started last summer, Fox talked about it having no definite ending, no prize, that it would just go on as long as it was warranted. Well, critics, viewers, and the producers of the show might have disagreed on how long it truly was “warranted,” but it filled the summer and then some, and eventually came up with a twisted prize structure. Now, however, Fox is trying again with the same producers, according to Variety.
The show, currently called Forever Eden, will be a reality soap opera that can go on as long as ratings support it. It will feature unmarried men and women who leave their lives behind to live in a luxury resort setting… for years.
Fox is so certain of this concept that they have given an order for 25 weekly one-hour episodes. It is expected to premiere some time this Spring, and while no airing schedule has yet been determined, producers say Fox has promised to be patient while the show builds an audience.
Mike Darnell, Fox’s alternative executive Vice President, said that the participants could be on for six month or three years – depending on if they want to stay and how they play their cards. He added that if somebody is looking to be famous beyond the normal 15 minutes you get with most reality shows, this is the ticket – “This is a chance to be famous for a long time.” Of course what he failed to mention is that they would be famous but still locked away in their resort, unable to reap the benefits of that fame until they leave and, presumably, aren’t so famous anymore.
Darnell referenced Paradise Hotel, mentioning that they learned some lessons from that show. “When you keep people in one place long enough, dysfunction and a little bit of dementia sets in. So it got us to thinking, how long can people stay?” Well, it seems to me, personally, that they didn’t have to run Paradise Hotel to find that out – we’ve seen Big Brother participants go stir crazy after weeks or months.
Apparently, one way to keep them around is that they will somehow be paid. The details are unclear, but it was noted that if a participant walks away voluntarily because they can’t stand it anymore, they will lose everything. If they are asked to leave (again, no details on whether it would be a vote or what), they lose half. But at certain points, such as an anniversary date, they could choose to leave with everything. Still, that will present participants with difficulties – if somebody has stuck around a while and accumulated a lot, they won’t want to voluntarily leave, even if they are going nuts.
But the producers plan to spice things up to keep it interesting. They will present lots of twists to the players, along with guest appearances from relatives or friends and changes in the cast. As mentioned above, there is no current information on how cast changes will occur, but producers have said it won’t follow the pairing off format that Paradise Hotel had. Although, of course, producers hope for coupling on the show. Casting has already begun, though there is no apparent information about it on the Fox website. I Like It!!! I'll let everyone know when it starts.
Forever Eden Site~http://www.fox.com/eden/