Seven suspends bold new reality show Million Dollar Listing over asbestos threat

Channel 7 has reportedly been forced to pull the plug on its expensive new reality show, Million Dollar Island, after asbestos was detected on the set.

According to TV Tonight, fibres of the potentially deadly material were found in the filming location in Malaysia, with production forced to immediately hit pause on the project.

In a statement provided to the outlet, Eureka Productions said: “While some delays have occurred in the pre-production phase of Australia’s version of Million Dollar Island, the show continues to move forward.”

The network is still expecting the show – which follows 100 contestants left to survive on a desert island for the prize of $1 million – to premiere in 2023, and is currently hunting for a new location, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

It is understood asbestos – exposure to which can cause a type of cancer called mesothelioma – was discovered before any of the contestants flew out to Malaysia.

Australia’s iteration of Million Dollar Island follows a Dutch format and will be hosted by Ant Middleton, who previously fronted SAS Australia.

A Survivor-like premise with a twist, each contestant starts the adventure with a bracelet worth $10,000. While they are on the island, contestants can gain and lose bracelets by completing various challenges and facing obstacles.

They can also receive bracelets from departing contestants, who must give their $10,000 to someone still remaining on the island when they leave. This means alliances and the social aspect of the game are key.

The SMH reported the show is expected to cost Channel 7 over $700,000 per episode to produce.

Dutch media tycoon John de Mol, the man behind the genius of Big Brother and The Voice, is responsible for the bold new show, the first version of which launched in the Netherlands in March.

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