“Utopia” has been cancelled by Fox. The show didn't succeed as either a television show or an experiment in creating a new society, though it did many things well.
One of its best features was its Santa Clarita set, in which the network invested substantial resources. Although the exact cost isn't clear, the number $50 million has most often been reported and repeated.
It is clear that it came at a significant price. This summer, executive producer Conrad Green, who left “Dancing with the Stars” to produce “Utopia,” told me “it's an expensive show to make, undoubtedly.” Referring to the beautiful five-acre set, he said, “That don't come cheap.” However, he said that “those costs amortize very quickly.”
Of course, the original plan was for the show to last at least one year, so now the set stands empty. Say what you will about “Utopia,” the space and the way it looked on television was incredible–never mind the 130 cameras and technology to both monitor and stream live to the world.
Before people start tearing out the miles of cables and breaking down the control room, it's worth thinking about what the space could be used for, either by Fox or another network or production company.
Here, then, are my suggestions for what to do with “Utopia”'s space: