Fox announces new 'Unan1mous' reality show to premiere March 22
By Reality TV World staff, 02/15/2006
Well, it's not the return of either Forever Eden or its Paradise Hotel predecessor that some diehard reality fans have continued to hope for, but Fox has announced that it will air one non-fixed length reality series this spring -- a new show called Unan1mous.
Premiering on Wednesday, March 22 at 9:30PM ET/PT and set to air regularly in the highly coveted post-American Idol results show time period (or at least what is set to become the result show's regular time period once Idol's finalists results shows begin airing), Unan1mous will feature nine strangers locked in a "bunker" (Fox isn't revealing exactly what that means yet) and competing to win a $1.5 million cash prize.
However unlike other "cut off from the outside world" hidden camera reality shows like CBS' long-running Big Brother, the nine contestants competing on Unan1mous won't be voting each other out of the bunker. Instead, all of Unan1mous' contestants will remain trapped stuck inside the bunker until they come to a unanimous decision (thus the show's title) about which one of the contestants should receive the show's grand prize, after which the show will end.
"We don't know when it will end," Mike Darnell, the Fox executive responsible for the network's reality programming, told the Hollywood Reporter. "The biggest issue is it could end at any moment."
Naturally, the show's producers aren't anticipating that the strangers will quickly agree about who should be awarded the prize -- although if they did, the show, which Darnell described only as "in progress" and having no specific episode order, could end after only a single episode -- so Unan1mous will also feature a couple of twists.
The first twist will be a "money clock." Shortly after entering the bunker, the contestants will face their first vote regarding who should win the money. If the vote is not unanimous, then the "money clock" will activate and the $1.5 million prize will begin losing potentially thousands of dollars of value every hour until the next vote occurs. In short, the longer it takes the contestants to decide on a winner, the less money the person will win.
The second twist will involve a traditional reality TV staple -- eliminating contestants. Like tradition reality elimination shows, Unan1mous will "eliminate" one contestant each week. However, unlike typical reality TV eliminations, Unan1mous' eliminated contestants will continue to live in the bunker and vote for who should win the show's grand prize, with their "elimination" simply making them ineligible to win the show's prize.
Unan1mous' voting will be largely no holds barred, with the contestants -- which will include a minister, an atheist, a ladies' man and a feminist -- free to tell whatever personal details, secrets, or lies that they think will help convince their fellow contestants that they deserve the money.
Billed by Fox as "a dramatic new television experiment" (a tagline similar to the one used by The WB's Beauty And The Geek), Unan1mous is being produced by 3 Ball Productions' J.D. Roth and Todd Nelson (two of Geek's executive producers) and Lincoln Hiatt, a former The Contender challenge producer who "created" Unan1mous (unlike Hiatt, Roth and Nelson are only created with "co-creating" Unan1mous.)
Since Roth and Nelson have also served as executive producers for other 3 Ball Productions projects including For Love Or Money and The Biggest Loser, Fox is describing Unan1mous as "from the producers of The Biggest Loser and Beauty and the Geek," however neither Ashton Kutcher (Geek's co-creator, executive producer, and the person widely credited with being responsible for the series in The WB's promotional materials) or Jason Goldberg (Kutcher's producing partner) are involved in Unan1mous.