Ship for Irish 'Cabin Fever' reality TV show sinks, taking show down with it
By Wade Paulsen, 06/19/2003
Maybe reality TV doesn't mix well with large boats. The problems with Fox's Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage were well-documented. Now, the Hollywood Reporter has reported that the next seaboard attempt, an Irish boat-based reality TV show entitled Cabin Fever, sank this week when the boat hit submerged rocks and went under, with cast and crew escaping to nearby Tory Island off the Irish coast. According to the report, the 10 contestants on board have consulted with lawyers, apparently hoping to cash in from the accident since they won't be able to cash in on TV.
The wrecked boat was specially equipped with cameras, lights and broadcasting equipment and was intended to be reusable. Irish state TV network RTE intended to syndicate the show, using the same boat, for versions in other countries. However, just two weeks into the show's initial eight-week broadcast, the boat took up residence in Davy Jones' locker just off the coast of Donegal.
Shortly after the accident, Reuters reported that a new boat was being acquired and that the series would go on. Subsequently, however, the Irish Voice reported that RTE's attempts to replace the boat have failed, almost certainly dooming the series.
Worst of all for a reality show, which generally wants to show the unexpected: the accident wasn't filmed ... just as in Love Cruise, when the cameras missed the kiss between Michael and Lisa (due to Michael's planning) and the $20K bribe offer from "Bug-Eyed Toni", who has since returned to reality TV in Fox's Paradise Hotel, to Jeanette (which dominated the finale). We think there's a lesson here: anyone who tries to do another boat reality show should make sure that a camera crew is working 24/7.