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Darlow Smithson, Mars One part ways on docuseries

Endemol-owned Darlow Smithson Productions is no longer producing a reality series (pictured) about people training to live on Mars after producers were unable to agree on a contract with non-profit Mars One.
February 24, 2015

Darlow Smithson Productions is no longer making a reality show based on the Mars One project (pictured).

Last summer, the Endemol Shine Group-owned prodco signed on to document the process of selecting and training four colonists who will travel to Mars in 2025. They would live out their lives there with additional colonists arriving every 18 months or so.

However, the future of the reality series is now uncertain as Darlow Smithson was unable to work out a contract with Mars One cofounder and CEO Bas Lansdorp and backed out last year. No filming had taken place.

“DSP and Mars One were unable to reach agreement on the details of the contract and DSP is no longer involved in the project,” a spokesperson for Endemol Shine Group said in a statement to realscreen. “We wish Bas and the team all the very best.”

Lansdorp told New Scientist magazine last week that the deal with had fallen through, and this week confirmed to British newspaper The Daily Mail that Mars One is now working with another company but declined to name which one.

“We have contracted a new production company that will produce the documentary series for us. They have already produced the trailer on our YouTube channel and progress is good,” he said, adding that the majority of the project’s funding is coming from equity investors rather than TV rights.

“The return on their investment will come when the first crew leaves or even when it lands,” he explained. “That’s when the revenues from the media exposure are much larger than the cost of the mission.”

Mars One announced the list of 100 people who will train for the mission last week. The first installments of the series were originally expected to begin broadcasting internationally early this year but an air date has not been announced.

Watch the trailer below:

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