'Paradise Hotel' to return for second season?
Tuesday, March 8 2005, 21:09 GMT -- by Neil Wilkes
FOX is in discussions to bring back Paradise Hotel for a second season later this year, according to C21 today.
The show, which featured a group of singletons living a hedonistic lifestyle in a luxury location, was a cult hit for the network in summer 2003 but was marred by heavy criticism from conservative groups.
Despite the controversy, its popularity was enough to spawn a less raunchy follow-up the following year. Called Forever Eden, the new version was billed as the world's first "neverending" reality soap, but disappointing ratings soon ensured that it came to a swift and ironic end.
Now Mike Darnell, FOX's head of reality programming, is said to be looking at reviving the original for a new installment this summer.
"We're exploring the possibility of bringing it back," Charles Thompson, MD of UK-based producer Mentorn, told C21. "Mike has been impressed with the performance of the format in Sweden, despite the fact that it was produced for much lower budgets that the Fox original. Fox has always wanted to return to Hotel but it enraged the Christian lobby and that hit ad sales."
One sticking point may be the high production costs involved. A number of options are being considered, including sponsorship finance, Mentorn taking "a combination of reduced production fee, back-end and finished tape sales" or even bringing back the original cast.