Fox Network in the US has greenlit Stars on Mars, a new reality series in which celebrities simulate life as astronauts on a Mars colony. The series, due to launch in June 2023, will be fronted by Star Trek legend William Shatner, now aged 92.
In a statement, Fox unscripted programming president Allison Wallach said: “The moment I heard the pitch for Stars on Mars, I knew a show this bold, this big and this outlandish simply belonged on Fox. Watching celebrities take giant leaps out of their comfort zone and step into the unexpected will no doubt be truly transformational and comical. When you factor in William Shatner leading the charge from Mission Control, we have the makings of a show that’s ready for blast off.”
The show is being produced by Fremantle-owned Eureka Productions, whose CEO and co-founder Chris Culvenor created the format. Fremantle holds international distribution rights, though it’s not clear if Shatner would be part of any adaptation.
Drilling down into the substance of the show, the Stars on Mars team said the celebrities will be confronted by “authentic conditions that simulate life on Mars, and they must use their brains and brawn – or maybe just their stellar social skills – to outlast the competition and claim the title of brightest star in the galaxy. The celebrities will compete in missions and vote to eliminate one crewmate each week.”
Shatner, now 92 and the subject of a recent documentary, You Can Call Me Bill, said: “Good news for our celebronauts. Thanks to lower gravity on Mars, you’ll weigh 62% less. Bad news: the air is unbreathable, so if you’re from LA, it’ll remind you of home.”