Well, the clothes didn’t last long.
Fox’s big-bet reality experiment Utopia is already getting a little naked, weird, and even popular ahead of its network premiere this Sunday. In the first week of live online streaming from the remote California production site of the new reality series, fans have witnessed fighting, hook-ups, a medical evacuation, and even a duo forming a second splinter camp.
In metrics released exclusively to EW, the network has tallied more than 1 million online views during the first four days of live streaming from the camp of 15 “pioneers,” who were given only the barest of necessities to create their own community. The average viewer watched for 13 minutes per day when the site went live last Friday, and by the fourth day the average time spent had risen to 23 minutes per day.
That’s pretty good for a new online destination this week without any leaked celebrity nude photos—though there has been plenty of exposed skin among the show’s cast. Unlike VH1’s Dating Naked or Discovery’s Naked and Afraid, however, Fox’s Utopia isn’t designed as a “nude show,” but that hasn’t stopped participants from getting naked anyway (a contrast to CBS’ relatively chaste Big Brother, to which Utopia has been frequently compared). The show’s online production team manages to blur frontal nudity in real time, though leaves rear and side shots untouched.
In fact, Fox is using a nude-blurred photo for the show’s official new marketing art, which EW is exclusively debuting below and goes up on digital billboards this evening:
Antics on the feeds have proven pretty lively. So far, fledgling fans have witnessed (potential spoilers for the premiere) …
– Two pioneers announcing they have “seceded” from the rest of the camp and are creating a second camp they have dubbed “Utopia State of Freedom” (guess being cut off from the rest of society still wasn’t isolated enough?).
– Hex, a self-proclaimed “huntress,” has had to be evacuated to a hospital for dehydration.
– Josh, a self-proclaimed “sexy beast,” got intoxicated, offended several of the women and got into a physical altercation with Dave, an ex-con and former drug dealer—he was removed by the show’s security team. The “pioneers” held a trial the next day and voted him in to stay, but on probation and with 90 days of no alcohol.
– Several women have formed a “goddess circle,” and one has revealed she’s pregnant.
– A pastor is gaining quite a following and is seeking to baptize a couple of pioneers in a lake.
– Two couples have already formed, one of which includes a woman ditching her boyfriend back at home.
– Before filming even began, one contestant was kicked off the show for smuggling in a cell phone to look up her castmates.
Utopia premieres Sunday at 8 p.m., with the series then shifting into its regular slots at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The streaming app: