VIDEO: Jeff Probst Says He Didn’t Think ‘Survivor’ Would Last This Long

Jeff Probst

YouTube Jeff Probst didn't think Survivor would last this long.

Ahead of the “Survivor 43” premiere, Jeff Probst appeared on the Howard Stern Show to talk about the success of “Survivor.”

In the interview, which aired on August 31, Probst admitted he didn’t think “Survivor” would last as long as it has.

“When you first got the gig, did you think it was going to last this long,” the interviewer asked Probst.

“No,” Probst replied. “I didn’t know anything about television. I didn’t have a publicist or anything, so I really didn’t know how it worked.”

“I thought we would for sure get a second season and then I thought I bet we’ll get a third season before it’s done,” he continued.

Jeff Probst on Going up Against ‘Friends’

Probst may not have thought “Survivor” would still be around after 43 seasons, but he always believed in the show. In the August 31 interview, Probst shared a story from the early days of “Survivor” that proves he understood how special the show was.

Probst told the host that back in the early 2000s, he agreed to put “Survivor” in the same timeslot as “Friends” on NBC.

“One of the best stories was “Friends” was on and Thursday night was must-see TV on NBC,” he said. “This was back before streaming, so the networks were everything and you were in direct competition with whatever show was on at your same time on the other network, so if “Survivor” was on at 8 o’clock and “Friends” was on 8 o’clock, we were [going to] be competitors. ”

“We were originally actually on Wednesday, and at 8 o’clock on Wednesday, nothing was on, so the “Survivor” ratings were really big,” he continued.

Probst said he told the head of scheduling at CBS to move “Survivor” to the same time as “Friends,” one of the most popular sitcoms in history.

Jeff Probst on New Era of ‘Survivor’

Season 41 ushered in a new era of “Survivor.” In the fall of 2021, Probst posted a teaser trailer for season 41 on Instagram and told fans that the old “Survivor” was gone and that a new “more dangerous” version of the game had taken over.

The last two seasons featured new twists and new hidden advantages. While some fans love the unpredictability element added to the game, others have criticized the show for becoming “too complicated.”

Probst talked about the new era of “Survivor” in a May 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly. The beloved host gave fans a glimpse inside the future of “Survivor,” telling the outlet that the new era is here to stay.

“When we say this is a new era of the game, we mean it,” he told the publication. “We are establishing new markers. So things like small tribes, earn the merge, no food, risk/reward dilemmas, Shot In The Dark, are here to stay. Other specific twists will come and go depending on the season.”

“We changed the game because we wanted to give players a new series of problems to solve,” he continued. “The easiest way to frame it is to compare it to our very first season. Those players didn’t know they would have a chance to play for a food reward, so when they got hungry, they ate rat. Then in season 2, we had a new group of players who knew there would be a food reward, so they didn’t eat rat. They adapted to the game. That’s what we’re doing with this new era.”

“Survivor” returns on Wednesday, September 21 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS.

READ NEXT: PHOTOS: ‘Survivor 43’ Cast Revealed

Read More