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In the 26 years since The Real World broke ground on the reality TV genre as we know it today, a lot has changed, though it's almost surprising just how much has stayed the same. Case in point: the Israeli production company and broadcaster Keshet has started teasing its much-hyped-in-secret project, titled 2025. Though it sounds vaguely futuristic, 2025 is reportedly a cross between the Big Brother franchise and the 1998 Jim Carrey feature The Truman Show. Huh?
Here's the gist, based on rumors and Keshet's own since-deleted social media posts. 2025 is reportedly going to be set inside a "fake city" that was built from the ground up on land south of Tel Aviv, Israel, on the outer edges of the city Yavneh. Within it, the show's contestants will be competing against each other during the 24-7 telecasts, though it's not clear what they'll be doing. Will they even know they're part of a TV show?
Confirmed details are few and far between, but Variety reports that a Keshet spokesman was perfectly fine with acknowledging and reiterating rumors that the 2025 set will look like a city, with buildings and business such as a hotel and some kind of a town hall. Keshet posted pictures of the show's bank, restaurant and clothing store before taking the images down. If they happen to show a giant staircase located on the side of an ocean, the Truman Show comparisons will be truly apt.
It does appear that all facts concerning the contestants, the rules of the show, and other elements are being withheld until the premiere episode. That maneuver seems like a weird trick for a show that hasn't built in years of thematic mystery-solving like American Horror Story.
Despite the general lack of mega-buzz surrounding 2025, it's also rumored (in Israeli media) that Keshet is planning on premiering the new series on January 31, which doesn't allow for much of a wide-scale marketing campaign. The series is expected to be unveiled to potential investors and media outlets at the NATPE conference in Miami on January 22-24.
Without knowing what 2025 is all about, or where the contestants are from, it's hard to even guess how the series will be approached from a buyer's standpoint. One could assume the point is to spin the project off for international spinoffs, as it usually goes, as opposed to countries around the world all airing footage from the same faux city.
Speaking to that, 2025 will reportedly be hosted by celebs Erez Tal and Corrin Gideon, who previously worked with show producer Yoram Zak on Israel's Big Brother. Setting Israeli hosts is a sign that the upcoming premiere will be localized to that country, though it's always possible that U.S. celebs could be hired on to do their own commentary for the broadcasts. It's worked for Iron Chef, right?
Strangely enough, there was already almost a TV show based on The Truman Show that was announced back in 2014. At that time, Paramount was seemingly planning on bringing several former big screen hits to television and online outlets, presumably in a similarly fictionalized format. But it never formally came together, for better or worse.
Will 2025 be the kind of legitimate Truman Show reality TV series that many thought was coming in the years after Peter Weir's feature was released? We're not sure, but in case we don't see you before we find out...good afternoon, good evening, and good night.
While waiting to hear more about 2025, keep track of all the big shows heading to the 2019 midseason TV schedule, where there are probably quite a few movie-to-TV adaptations.