Today in news that would ironically make for a pretty entertaining reality show, Variety is reporting that the contestants of the Channel 4 reality series Eden have emerged from a year of isolation in the Scottish wilderness to find that the series hasn’t aired a new episode in months. The premise of Eden was that a group of 23 men and women would attempt to set up a self-sufficient community with their own laws, their own shelter, and their own food supply in a remote area with no contact with the outside world, and it would all be filmed by personal cameras and a four-person crew.
Ratings plummeted throughout the run of Eden’s four-episode first season, which ended in August 2016. Sticking to the year-long schedule for the social experiment/reality series hybrid, producers continued to film, and contestants were welcome to leave if they so desired. And they did: By last week, only 10 people remained on the 600-acre estate Eden used as its home base. In Spetember, local media reported that nearly a third of the participants had quit; at the time, the Telegraph reported that Channel 4 was considering merging the next two seasons into a single eight-episode installment. Checking the dormant social media feeds for the series, NPR found that viewers were promised that Eden would return “later this year.”
In a statement, Channel 4 said that Eden was a “real experiment” and that the network “had no idea what the results would be” when it began. It also maintains that the recorded footage will be shown, so at least the world will finally get a chance to find out what happened to these reality show contestants whom few people seemed to care about in the first place. Though maybe they’ll care a little bit more now that they know that the final remaining contestants were “smuggling in junk food and booze” and were spotted at a nearby dentist “needing treatment after eating chicken feed grit.“
UPDATE: As pointed out to us by Reality Blurred, the situation with Eden was not as dire as initially reported. The show was never canceled, and multiple U.K. sources indicate that Channel 4 always intended to broadcast the footage shot during the waning the months of Eden.