These Contestants Survived A Year In The Woods Only To Learn Their TV Show Was Already Cancelled

By Kendra Wilkenson - December 01, 2018
These Contestants Survived A Year In The Woods Only To Learn Their TV Show Was Already Cancelled

The big thing was that the producers decided it was better not to let any of the participants know that the show had been cancelled. 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. They basically missed all of 2016.

Take a look inside to uncover what happened. The contestants camped in the woods for a year thinking everything they did was being watched by millions when nothing they did had been aired for months.

Reality TV Will Never Die

So…what’s your take on reality TV? Love it? Hate it? Big fan? Don’t give AF? Well, whatever your hot take is on it, reality TV is here to stay. It seems like there’s a reality TV show out there for everything. Food? Check? Relationships? Check? Singing? Check? Athletics? Check? Accounting? Check.

Wait…that last one can’t be right. There’s no such thing as a reality TV show about accounting…YET. Just watch? Three years from now there’ll be one and you’ll remember reading it here first.

All The Drama

And, of course, the best part of reality TV? All. That. Drama. That’s what we’re there for. We want to see struggle. We want to see strife. Let’s see people arguing, fighting, competing, and downright just hating each other. Anything less is not reality TV, right?

Well, read on, cause we are about to tell you the story of a TV show that was so friggin’ dull that it got canceled…and the contestants didn’t even know.

Starting A New Civilization By Making Booze, What Could Go Wrong?

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…

High Lands, Low Ratings

Filmed in the sprawling but utterly lush 600-acre wooded peninsula in Scotland called Ardnamurchan, Eden initially hooked 1.8 million viewers. Not bad, right? That’s a pretty respectable number for a new show to pull in. But after only a few more episodes of the reality show had aired, the viewership had dropped by 200,000 viewers. Yikes! That’s a seriousm serious dip in numbers. Survivor, still going strong in its 34th (really?) season, this show, Eden, was not.

23 And Me

So, 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.

So that’s really nothing new, right? Shows get canceled all the time due to low numbers. That’s just how show biz works. But…

This Is How You Do It

One huge area where Eden failed is in not having organized events and challenges like Survivor, which averages about 11 million viewers per season. Which, in retrospect, seems completely idiotic. How can you not have challenges? That’s the best part of these reality shows! Come on, guys! Step up your game! 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.

Just Leave Whenever You Want

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? Like, that’s just something that would happen in real life and real life sucks. 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.

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. They basically missed all of 2016.

Glamping It Up

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. And, listen, watching people camp ain’t that exciting to begin with (neither is camping…yeah we said it).

Grubbing It Up

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. Who would’ve thunk it that seeing conflict on TV is what makes fore good TV?!

Did You See That Saw?

One of the most common complaints for lack of viewership for Eden was that the participants had it “too easy.” Well yeah, come on, saws and hammers, where’s the challenge in that? Even if you have no camping or building experience, you could basically figure out how to use the tools. So of course it’s boring AF. It’s like having a permanent cheat code you can use every show. That’s…um… what’s the word we’re looking for? BORING!

23 People And Not One Science Geek Type?

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. You know, maybe it needed a little struggle to make it at least somewhat interesting. Maybe it lacked a professor type in any of the 23 people to lead them?

Ah yeah! The Professor! That’s what this show needed. He was the best, right? Seriously, screw Gilligan.

A Far Cry From Branches And Mats

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!

This Is All You've Goat?

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 Survivor and it’s easy to see why that show outlasts a meager reality offering like Eden.