When the UK Channel 4 TV reality show,Eden, first aired in July, 2016, it captured great viewer interest. The show was promoted as a "groundbreaking social experiment" in which 23 strangers would live for a year together in the Scottish wilderness in an attempt to create a self-sufficient community. One of the first activities the group embarked on was to brew up some homemade booze. Well, that's one way to break in a new society...
Filmed in the 600-acre wooded peninsula in Scotland called Ardnamurchan, Eden initially hooked 1.8 million viewers. But after only a few more episodes of the reality show had aired, the viewership had dropped by 200,000 viewers. Survivor, still going strong in its 34th season, this show, Eden, was not.
Although the viewing audience showed their interest in watching the 23 participants on Eden by tuning in at first, it was clear by the huge ratings drop that there was nothing holding that interest. After Channel 4 aired only four hours of Eden in July and August, 2016, the show was cancelled.
One huge area where Eden failed is in not having organized events and challenges like Survivor, which averages about 11 million viewers per season. It's hard to imagine participants on Survivor complaining of boredom what with all the outwitting, outplaying and outlasting going on, but quit they did on Eden.
Really, what fun is it watching a TV reality show where participants can just walk out of the wilderness they've committed to being in for a whole year based on that they're too bored or another participant said or did something they didn't like? The 23 people who started out on Eden dwindled down to just 10, but by that time the show hadn't been aired in months anyway.
6. Eden Participants Were Never Told Their Show Was Cancelled
The big thing was that the Eden producers decided it was better not to let any of the participants know that the show had been cancelled and wasn't airing past the first four hours of footage that was originally broadcast. So for months the cast of Eden, out there all grubby in the Scottish wilds, still had the cameras on them and no clue that none of what was filmed would see the light of broadcast. And they missed nearly a year of real world events like the actual start of the UK's split from the EU (European Union) known as Brexit.
Channel 4 received many viewer complaints that a show based on the premise of a group building a new community out of basically nothing in the wilderness shouldn't have the participants wearing designer gear and regularly eating brought in foods like chocolate, fresh fruit and even gnocchi. Eden wasn't groundbreaking they said, it was just glamorous camping --glamping to the max.
By contrast to their Eden counterparts, Survivor contestants often really rough it and have to earn very occasional reward treats like candy, fruit or burgers by winning challenges. It seems viewers want to see how people actually adjust to remote surroundings by working with what is there, or rationing out limited foods they started with, not flying in caviar constantly. Go figure.
Maybe if there would have been some teamwork in improvising tools and coming up with new ways of doing things, Eden would have increased, not decreased its viewership. Maybe it lacked a professor type in any of the 23 people to lead them?
Eden's sleeping situation looked like a joke of a slumber party with foam mattresses and high end sleeping bags. On Survivor it's bare wood under a makeshift thatched roof unless your tribe is lucky enough to win a few throw pillows and some cotton blankets in a reward challenge.
Oh well, the joke was on the Eden contestants who still camped for a year in the boonies thinking pretty much everything they did was being watched by millions when nothing they did had been aired for months. It's totally amazing that show production didn't tell the participants at all that Eden was cancelled after only a few hours had aired!
Eden didn't even go out with a loud bang but instead, a soft bleat. The last Tweet about the show by production was a photo of one of the participants sitting down holding a small goat. Gee, with such high drama how could this show ever be cancelled? Compare that with the debate about whether to eat a mama goat, its baby goat or none of the above on Survivorand it's easy to see why that show outlasts a meager reality offering like Eden.