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NBC just canceled Million Dollar Island before it even aired

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NBC is voting Million Dollar Island, its answer to the long-running CBS reality competition Survivor, off the network. NBC has canceled the show before it had the chance to premiere. 

According to Deadline (opens in new tab), Million Dollar Island was in the casting phase when NBC decided to pull the plug. The reason was reportedly the show's big budget. 

Million Dollar Island was described as a "high-stakes social experiment." Based on a Dutch format, it sends 100 contestants to a remote island for up to 50 days. Compare that to Survivor, which typically has about 20 players and runs for 39 days or fewer. Both shows set $1 million grand prizes.

Like Survivor, Million Dollar Island contestants must build alliances and win challenges to make it to the end. Upon arrival, each player received a bracelet worth $10,000. When they left the game, they could choose who received their portion of the cash pool.

The show's cancellation comes on the heels of a shakeup within NBC's reality TV division. Jenny Groom, EVP Entertainment Unscripted Content, is leaving the company after 20 years. 

While Groom helped develop The Voice and America's Got Talent, NBC has struggled to find hits in recent years. Shows like the Eurovision dupe American Song Contest and Shakira's Dancing With Myself have failed to catch on. NBC booted The Courtship, a Bridgerton-esque dating series, to sibling network USA after just two episodes. 

Million Dollar Island may not be completely dead, as producers are reportedly shopping it to other outlets. They shouldn't look to Netflix — these days the streamer cancels more shows than they save. And recent reality shows are trending toward the singularly stupid.

Kelly Woo
Kelly Woo

Kelly is a senior writer covering streaming media for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.