Bosses revived Shipwrecked for the third time earlier this year in a bid to find a breakout smash for Channel 4's sister station.
The three-week run used the 'Battle of the Islands' format that was a fan favourite with T4 viewers in the mid-2000s.
However, life was slightly easier for marooned contestants - who lived in pre-built camps complete with electricity.
As fans complained about the diminished survival aspect, ratings stalled, with a consolidated average of around 500,000 viewers.
Now it seems Shipwrecked itself is at risk of being abandoned.
Broadcast reports that the classic programme - which has lasted a total of nine series since 1999 - is unlikely to be renewed for another outing.
However, E4 isn't giving up on finding a buzzworthy reality hit - in fact, it's about to go even bigger.
Channel controller Karl Warner wants to splash some cash on a big-budget 'interactive' format.
He is looking for a television event that can air for up to six weeks in 2020.
Speaking at a recent BAFTA event, Warner said he'd be "shortlisting ideas in September in October".
If all that sounds familiar, it's probably because a similar description would fit Love Island.
ITV2 took a huge gamble resurrecting the dating contest in 2015 - which initially backfired, with the first series averaging 570,000.
But the broadcaster stuck by the show - a move that has proven fruitful, with ratings growing every year since.
The latest run is on course to become the most popular yet, attracting up to 6million viewers.
E4 may have to work its latest plans around a double helping of Love Island next year.
Reports suggest that ITV2 is considering a winter series in addition to the regular summer edition.