US reality series ‘Stars on Mars’ to shoot in Coober Pedy

William Shatner. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

The red dirt of South Australia’s Coober Pedy will stand in for the Red Planet in Stars on Mars, a Fox Entertainment reality series to be produced by Australia’s Eureka Productions.

The series, which sees celebrities simulate a living in a Mars colony, has been lured to Australia via the Federal Government’s Location Incentive, with additional support from the South Australian Film Corporation. It will be the largest unscripted series to have ever shot in SA.

William Shatner is the host of the series or ‘Mission Control’, with production already underway and with TX date in US June 5. The government reports 250 local jobs will be created by the production, while 150 businesses will also benefit.

Eureka Productions co-CEO Chris Culvenor created the format for Stars on Mars, and will serve as executive producer with Paul Franklin, Wes Dening and Eden Gaha. Charles Wachter is executive producer and showrunner.

“We’re thrilled to bring the production of Stars on Mars to Australia, providing hundreds of jobs within the Australian entertainment industry, while also showcasing Coober Pedy,” said Culvenor in a statement.

“This unique and stunning location offers the ideal setting to recreate the surface of Mars, and we are excited to film the US version of Stars on Mars here for FOX.”

Federal Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said: “Stars On Mars might be set on another planet – but this production will have real world impacts for the Australian screen industry, supporting local jobs and expertise,” he said.

South Australian Minister for the Arts Andrea Michaels said having an international project of this scale in SA would build workforce capacity and broaden the production capability of the state.

This reflects the recommendations from the South Australian Film Corporation’s newly launched South Australian Screen Industry Workforce Development Strategy,” said South Australian Minister for the Arts Andrea Michaels.

“Stars on Mars will strengthen South Australia’s position as a premier location for TV format productions, and open the door to more large-scale international and domestic productions to drive investment in local industry.”

Eureka has produced several US reality series, including the reboot of The Mole for Netflix and ABC’s Holey Moley.

Fremantle, Eureka’s parent company, has international production and distribution rights to the Stars on Mars format.