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Big Brother creator John de Mol’s newest televised social experiment Utopia, premiering on Fox with a three-night event starting Sept. 7, features 15 total strangers who are taken to a remote location (read: the middle of nowhere, U.S.A.) and challenged to create their own ideal community. Based on a wildly popular Dutch show of the same name that debuted earlier this year, the contestants will be followed 24/7 by more than 100 robotic cameras as they try to build their utopia with little to no resources (no bathrooms, no beds, for starters). As on Big Brother, there will be eliminations, but there won’t be any challenges or competitions or a prize (however, in a unique twist, contestants deemed nonessential can be nominated for elimination by the Utopia community and audience online, and be replaced by newcomers). Casting was ”99 percent of the challenge,” says executive producer de Mol. ”This was an extra difficult casting process because you needed the right characters, but also the right skills. You want the group of people to have a fair chance to survive—you need someone in the 15 who knows about construction, about electricity, about water pipes; there has to be at least one medical person in case someone gets hurt. You need one person in the 15 who knows how to deal with it.” More than 5,000 hopefuls applied—here’s who made the cut.
Image Credit: Christopher Fragapane/Fox
August 20 2014 — 12:00 AM EDT