March 27, 2017
LONDON — The contestants of a British reality show that marooned them in the wilderness for a year as a social experiment have returned to civilization — only to discover the series was taken off air several months ago and no one bothered to tell them.
The Channel 4 program, “Eden,” assembled 23 men and women and dispatched them to a remote corner of the Scottish Highlands, where they were told to set up a self-sufficient community. The group was cut off from any contact with the outside world, and had to “decide on their own rules and laws, build their own shelter, grow their own food and raise their own livestock,” according to a statement released when the show was first announced.
The year-long experiment was recorded by a four-strong crew as well as personal cameras and a fixed rig. Four episodes of the show – covering March, April and May – were broadcast last summer. But ratings slipped from 1.7 million to 800,000, leading Channel 4 to pull the plug on further updates.
No one bothered to tell the remaining contestants, who reportedly endured boredom and infighting, were reduced at one point to eating chicken feed,