While the show’s return is what is on every Survivor fan’s mind, there is also the question of how long the show will be around altogether, since it recently capped its 40th season and 20th anniversary year. That’s a long time for any television show to be on the air.
So, when does host Jeff Probst think the show will end? For him, it’s about taking it one year at a time. They have to keep the show fresh and keep producing quality content to keep the audience coming back.
Probst’s Goal Is Convincing the Audience to Stick Around With Each Individual Year
In a recent interview with IMDB TV, Probst was asked about sticking around for 50 seasons, something other members of production have said they think is totally doable. Probst is not so sure because television is a fickle business.
“You have to be able to persuade your audience one more time to say, ‘I’ll take another ride with you,'” said Probst, “and we’ve been doing it for 20 years and my goal is that we can do it for another year and then another year and then another.”
He added, “We have people on our team that are like, ‘Oh, we’ll get to 50 [seasons].’ And I think, ‘Well, we gotta get through 41 first.'”
“That’s always been how I’ve looked at things creatively on Survivor. We have ideas for 44, but we have to execute 41 really well, just as well as we did 40 — because once you watch 40, now the bar is [higher]. So I’m already thinking about the promo that’s going to run at the end of 40 for something we haven’t even shot yet, thinking it has to be so good and so different that you go, ‘Alright, I’ll come back again,'” said Probst.
He Also Said Initially, He Didn’t Think They’d Last 3 Seasons
When they were filming the first season back in 1999-2000, Probst felt like they were doing something crazy. He revealed executive producer Mark Burnett was basically making it up as they went along and Probst wasn’t sure anybody would like the show.
“I didn’t think we’d be there for three seasons, really, because I do still remember pretty vividly being in Borneo with Mark Burnett in the jungle because he was kind of making the show up … we are creating this crazy, weird show literally while we’re walking through the jungle. Nobody ever dreamed anybody would even watch it, let alone like it,” said Probst.
In the interview, Probst also revealed that Burnett initially offered him an earpiece to wear at Tribal Council so that production could help feed him questions for the castaways. But Probst declined because he didn’t want a bunch of other people second-guessing his hosting skills.
“What Tribal is for me, it’s just a natural conversation. I just watch how people are behaving because you guys have so much at stake. You’re worried about plan A or plan B or do I trust that person, is that person talking about me? I don’t have anything at stake, so I have this really unfair — the power imbalance is gigantic because I’m going back either way,” said Probst, adding, “A lot of times my questions are setups to question No. 6, which is the one I want. The first five are just like a pinball machine, trying to slowly meander over so it doesn’t feel like the attention’s on you.”
There is no word yet on when Survivor will be back on the air. There is talk about the team filming three seasons this spring so that they can air one in the summer of 2021, one in the fall and then one in the spring of 2022.
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