By all means, push the Reality TV bit. It would be a fascinating experiment in human interaction and survival. A bunch of humans and a boatload (literally) of animals, cooped up for a year. Throw in three judges to spice it up. ("I'm sorry Jason, but half the animals in your care have starved or been eaten. Over the side you go.").
You can't fake your way out of Gawd-awful human behavior.