Split Screen: Kid Nation

Publisher:
CBC

Split Screen: Kid Nation

5.0/5

Critic Rating

The controversial reality TV show known as ‘Kid Nation’, which borrowed its premise from Lord of the Flies, was cancelled shortly after its 2007 debut. Producers took 40 kids into a makeshift desert town to fend for themselves and create their own society. Was the series an opportunity to discover what kids are capable of? Or simply a ploy for ratings?With access to former ‘Kid Nation’ contestants, their families, and the show’s creators, culture journalist Josh Gwynn uncovers how this cult TV show became a lightning rod for an ongoing debate about the ethics of reality TV.Welcome to Split Screen, an...


Critic Reviews

Score: 5

Patricia Nicol • The Times UK May 12, 2024

"...even wilder reality TV format...The presenter Josh Gwynn is a thoughtful guide. But it is the testimonies of the former contestants — who are now adults and still shocked by the fast-and-loose manipulation by the TV execs who were in loco parentis, — that makes this riveting. …"

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Score: 5

Lauren Passell • Podcast The Newsletter Apr 29, 2024

"I never saw the show but have been picking up pieces from this disaster story for years but am really enjoying immersing myself in it, with all the details."

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Score: 5

Stephen O. • Podcast Delivery Apr 29, 2024

"...delivers a glimpse into the mechanics at play while producing a reality show pegged as "Lord of the Flies but with cameras and in the desert"."

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Score: 5

Fiona Sturges • Financial Times Apr 21, 2024

"Gwynn paints a grimly unsettling picture of naive parents, terrified children and ratings-hungry TV execs who are still trying to justify their decisions 17 years later....embodied the crassness and cruelty of TV networks that thought nothing of misleading contestants in their relentless quest for a hit and then hanging them out to dry."

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