Longtime “Survivor” host Jeff Probst has previously waffled about making it all the way to season 50, but it seems the time off after “Winners at War” has reinvigorated the Emmy-winning host. He told Variety in a September 2021 interview that he thinks they are starting a new era of “Survivor” with season 41 and he definitely sees the show getting to 50 seasons.
Probst Calls Quarantine An ‘Unexpected Gift’ To Reinvigorate the Show
In his recent interview, Probst said that in normal years, the schedule between seasons of “Survivor” is “pretty relentless,” so there “isn’t really a lot of time without the pressure of a ticking clock to say, ‘Let me pour one more cup of coffee and look at this again.’”
But with the quarantine, Probst said he got an “unexpected gift” of being able to closely evaluate the show as it moves into its third decade of being on the air and he truly feels like this is a “rebirth” for the series.
“For right now, where ‘Survivor’ needs to go is with fresh faces, fresh voices, players who are of the moment, players who can let us watch them and learn,” said Probst, adding, “I can see Season 50 for sure. I can already see where the show is going to head in the next five years. We haven’t laid it out, but the landscape is there.”
The Head of CBS Said That People Were Watching ‘Survivor’ All Throughout Quarantine
Kelly Kahl, president of CBS, told Variety that all throughout lockdown, people were watching “Survivor” on Paramount Plus, the CBS stand-alone streaming service — in fact, celebrities who had never watched “Survivor” started getting into it during quarantine.
“The show’s a top-three fixture, even when we didn’t have original episodes over the past year. People were either rewatching or discovering this show,” said Kahl, who credits Probst with keeping “Survivor” fresh all of these 20+ years it has been on the air.
“So many hot alternative shows have come and gone that I don’t see any way you can fault Jeff or any of the producers for wanting to help the show feel fresh and contemporary,” said Kahl. “It’s easy to go out and just say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do the same show — there’s no need to innovate.’ And the show would have probably gotten a little stale.”
Probst added that he recently identified the “five stages” of a season of “Survivor” and it was a total game-changer — “I feel like we just uncovered our format, and it’s brand-new,” said Probst.
And CBS is excited to finally welcome the show back to the airwaves — and they hope fans are excited as well.
“We hope absence makes the heart grow fonder,” said Kahl. “We managed to cobble together a successful season last year with some successful shows [at CBS], but it felt like a piece of us was missing without ‘Survivor.’”
“Survivor” returns for its 41st season on Wednesday, September 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!