Sat.1 cancels Talpa’s Newtopia

Newtopia_cancelGerman broadcaster Sat.1 has cancelled Newtopia, the local version of the Talpa format Utopia.

The last episode of the social experiment format will go out on the free-to-air channel this Friday.

The German show has been beset by controversy, being dubbed ‘Faketopia’ locally after a drunk producer was filmed entering the set and giving the reality show’s contestants direction.

The decision to can the series was not, however, linked to that scandal, but weak ratings a Talpa spokesperson told TBI. “Sat.1 decided there were just not enough viewers for the social experiment,” he said.

Newtopia was a big move for Sat.1 with a budget of tens of millions of Euros. It will replace it with daily drama. The German broadcaster confirmed the end of Newtopia this morning. It noted it had ‘completed the largest experiment in TV history’ but CEO Nicolas Paalzow said it was over.

He said: “The experiment is finished. Together with Germany Talpa has Sat.1 much airtime, passion and ideas put in the continuation of, Newtopia. Unfortunately, without the desired success. But only he who dares, wins. We promise: Sat.1 will continue to dare to bring bold ideas on the TV screen.”

Viewers who purchased a premium pass, allowing unrestricted access to the cameras in the camp and extra content will be refunded, Sat.1 added.

The format is one of Talpa’s key properties and sales projections would have been part of valuing the company when it was sold to ITV. The show has met with mixed success internationally having failed in the US on Fox and now Germany on Sat.1.

It is still, however, popular in the Netherlands where it has run for 18 months. A local version also runs in Turkey and a similar format, The Fifteen of Us, has just started on Tencent in China.