EXCLUSIVE: Classic British format Castaway, which saw a group of people tasked with building a community on a remote Scottish island, could be set for a comeback as producers Lion Television USA take out a revamped pitch.
Deadline understands that Nick Catliff, Manager Director of Lion Television and Tony Tackaberry, President of Lion Television USA have been pitching the new version of the BBC format to U.S. broadcasters and platforms in LA this week and have already received interest from two buyers.
The groundbreaking format was one of the first factual entertainment / reality shows, and aired on BBC One in the UK in January 2000, five months before Survivor debuted on CBS.
The show followed a year-long effort by 36 men, women and children to build a community on Taransay, a Scottish island in the Outer Hebrides. The social experiment saw them grow their own vegetables, kill their own animals and become a community for a year. However, unlike most reality shows, there was no major crew – the cast largely filmed themselves – and there was no competition – there was no winner.
The show aired four runs in 2000, each featuring four episodes, with a nine episode run after Christmas. The BBC brought the format back in 2007 and Channel 4 in the UK also attempted a similar show, Eden, produced by Keo Films, in 2016.
Lion is now looking to bring it back with bigger stakes and bigger personalities. Lion USA recently reboot classic gameshow Cash Cab for Bravo and also produces series including Deadline Crime with Tamron Hall and Lies that Bind on ID.
Lion’s Catliff said, “Castaway was part of a special moment in time when factual content became a ratings-driver and we live with the legacy of that today.”
“This isn’t just a survival show, it’s a show about building community,” added Tackaberry. “The beauty in the format is its simplicity – with fault lines in society deeper than ever, can a group with wildly different backgrounds, beliefs, and ways of life, come together to form a coherent community? Watching the answer to that unfold will always be timely, controversial and compelling.”
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