CBS reality show Survivor is celebrating its ruby anniversary this spring when it premieres its 40th season of the long-running competition series hosted by Jeff Probst. Here’s what we know so far about the premiere date, theme, and potential cast members.
Premiere Date and Time
CBS revealed in early November that Survivor will return a little earlier than it normally debuts its spring season — this is the earliest a season has started since season 26, “Fans vs. Favorites,” back in February 2013.
“The milestone 40th season and 20th year of the Emmy Award-winning, ground-breaking series Survivor debuts with a special two-hour episode on Wednesday, February 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, hosted by Jeff Probst. The show moves to its regular Wednesday 8 p.m. time period on February 19,” the show announced via press release.
All that second part means is that after the two-hour premiere, the show will air one-hour episodes until the three-hour finale and reunion at the end of May.
The show hasn’t officially announced anything yet, but the cast leaked back when filming began and so it’s been known for a while that the season would feature 20 previous winners of the game. We expect CBS will make the official season theme announcement during the season 39 reunion Wednesday, February 18.
Interestingly, Probst has previously said he doesn’t love the idea of an all-winners season. In a 2018 interview with US Weekly, he said he would never suggest they do an all-winners season because there aren’t enough good winners the fans want to see play the game again.
“We can’t do all winners. As a producer, I would never suggest it. I would say it’s not a good idea,” said Probst at the time, adding, “We have 10 great winners that you’d want to see play again. We don’t have 20. We don’t have 18. Some of the winners don’t want to play again. Some of the greats are like, ‘No, we’re done.'”
He did reveal that the CBS higher-ups are always pitching the idea to him, though.
“CBS wants to do it. They’re pitching me all the time. And I’m going, ‘I’ll sit down with you and show you the list!’ We don’t have it,” said Probst. “And if I sat down and we wasted our time and I walked you through all our winners, you would say, ‘Oh, you’re right. You don’t have a season.’ We have a tribe of winners, that’s it … We could do winners versus another group. That’s an idea.”
Looks like the CBS brass got its way in this case.
No spoilers here, but if you want to see who the 20 winners are that are rumored to be participating, check out our post here.
The season is also reportedly bringing back the Edge of Extinction twist, which was a controversial addition to the game in season 38. A lot of fans thought the Edge of Extinction castaways getting two chances to return to the game, especially when one of those chances came at final five, was an unfair advantage.
Survivor: Winners at War premieres Wednesday, February 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
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