A group of reality TV contestants who were secluded for an entire year returned to find many surprises — including news that their show had been cancelled, while no one informed them.
The British reality TV show "Eden" was supposed to be a televised social experiment, sending the group of 23 strangers into the Scotland wilderness for 12 months with no technology or modern tools. They took four crew members with them, along with personal cameras for the contestants.
The show first aired last July, but ratings took a nosedive four episodes in — starting at 1.7 million and quickly dropping to 800,000. Although the decision to stop airing the show had been made last August, the contestants were not notified of the decision, and continued their quest for survival.
The Guardian reported that only 13 of the 23 cast members survived the entire show after many were sent home or dropped out after reports of fighting and smuggling in alcohol and junk food.
Local resident Maria Macpherson told reporters, "In the end, the show was a joke. Some of the participants were even seen in the dentist at Fort William needing treatment after eating chicken feed grit. It has not done this area any favours – it has just not lived up to expectations," she said, according to The Mirror.
Channel 4, the network that produced the show, would not give details on the number of participants who dropped out, but they did say that the show would return at some point.
"The appeal of Eden was that it was a real experiment and when we started filming, we had no idea what the results would be and how those taking part would react to being isolated for months in a remote part of the British Isles," said a spokesperson for the network. "That’s why we did it and the results, including the highs and the lows, will be shown later this year."
The group will likely take some time catching up with all that they have missed, including the passing of Brexit in the U.K., the death of pop superstar Prince, and the election of President Donald Trump.