It's a bit "Survivor," a bit "Big Brother," writes the Times. "…a dozen contestants from regions as disparate as Baghdad, Hillah, Diyala and Kirkuk gather to live for about a month in a small inn-turned-ultramodern living space outfitted in magenta and chartreuse." They perform tasks like Spin-the-Bottle, building a barn or loading cargo. The losing team nominates two losers and the audience boots one off the island. The winner gets $3,000. Of course, the program doesn't take place on an island, or in certain other locations in Iraq: "Naturally, none of these activities are carried out in downtown Baghdad, where venturing alone into the wrong neighborhood can land you in the morgue."
"Instead, the creators of 'Beit Beut' flew the whole cast up to the Kurdish-controlled area of northern Iraq, in the scenic hills above Sulaymaniya."
And for all it's similarities to Western television, there are still pretty substantial differences. Said the show's director: "We are from a conservative society, and we respect and protect our traditions and norms. No romance!"