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CBS' 'Kid Nation': No, it's not 'Children of the Corn'

May 16, 2007 |  9:44 am

ust Newseason_2

Kidnation290 What do you get when you corral 40 overachieving kids in an abandoned ghost town for 40 days and leave them to their own devices?

No, it’s not a remake of “Lord of the Flies,” according to CBS.

Rather, “Kid Nation," the network's new fall reality series, is a “very unique and very provocative piece” that explores social dynamics and community building, said Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment.

The youth – ages 8 to 15 – spend a month sans parents in the shuttered town of Bonanza City, N.M., charged with creating a new society. They have to cook their own meals, clean the outhouses, run the local businesses (including a saloon that only sells root beer) and establish a working government. At the end of each episode, the children gather for a town hall meeting to debate the laws of their community (including bedtime rules) and whether they want to go home.

“Will they come together as a cohesive unit, or will they abandon all responsibility and succumb to the childhood temptations that lead to round-the-clock chaos?” asked the network in its press release about the program.

CBS executives spoke of the series in near-reverential tones.

“It’s an unbelievable community of respect, and you watch them build society,” said Tassler, who promised that each episode would end with a heartwarming pay-off. (After all, the show is being produced by Tom Forman, he of the tear-jerker “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”)

The series was originally slated to run over the summer, but CBS pushed it onto its fall schedule after seeing the offerings that NBC and ABC rolled out earlier this week, a move Tassler called “a very profound decision.”

--Matea Gold