After more than a year of speculation in Israeli news outlets, TV broadcaster and production giant Keshet has finally confirmed the existence of its long-rumored upcoming reality show, titled “2025.” The series – which some reports describe as a mashup of “The Truman Show” and “Big Brother” – is expected to pit a varied group of contestants against each other inside an entire fake city constructed for the show.
This week, the network began to tease “2025” and promote it on social media, creating an Instagram profile for it, unveiling the new logo and publishing photos of a restaurant, a clothing store and a bank – before deleting them all. The set has been built on the outskirts of Yavneh, a city south of Tel Aviv. But with the reported premiere date just weeks away, the broadcaster is still releasing few details of “2025,” in keeping with a drawn-out campaign to boost anticipation of the show.
“Information about the show, the contestants and the rules of the game are being kept strictly confidential, and will be revealed only in the premiere episode,” a Keshet spokesman said. He declined to confirm, but was happy to repeat, rumors that have sprung up around “2025,” including that its set “resembles a city, with a hotel, a clothing store, a bank, a municipal building and a restaurant.”
Keshet CEO Avi Nir is expected to unveil the series/format to international media outlets – and potential buyers – at the NATPE conference in Miami in two weeks. The network would not confirm a premiere date, but multiple reports in Israeli media have said it is expected to begin airing Jan. 31. The network has obtained rights to air the show 24 hours a day, seven days a week on its old home, Channel 22. That channel has been dark since November 2017, when Keshet and Reshet split up and moved to new homes on channels 12 and 13, respectively.
A promotional trailer for the show was leaked – accidentally or strategically – several months ago.
“In this place, a city will be built,” declared the promo, which featured people walking towards a city popping up in the desert inside a snowglobe-like glass dome. “A city in which everyone starts out on equal footing. No matter where they come from, what they’ve accomplished or how hard they’ve fallen. When they get to the city, the game begins. Whoever knows how to play it will reach the pinnacle. Whoever doesn’t has no place in the city.”
The show will be produced by Yoram Zak and hosted by Erez Tal and Corrin Gideon. All three worked in the past on Israel’s “Big Brother,” until it moved from Keshet to competitor Reshet in 2018.