Fan-favorite Survivor villain Russell Hantz had some strong words recently for host Jeff Probst about why the show hasn’t figured out how to film its upcoming 41st and 42nd seasons. Here’s what he said and why it’s perhaps not as easy as he thinks it is.
Hantz Says, ‘Let’s Get It Figured Out!’
— Russell Hantz (@russellhantz) October 14, 2020
In a recent tweet, Hantz wrote, “Hey @JeffProbst, if they can do the bachelorette! where half the time they’re exchanging saliva! They surely can do Survivor! Let’s get it figured out! everyone else is…”
He’s not wrong. A lot of shows, both scripted and unscripted, have figured out how to safely go back into production during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Big Brother is about to wrap its 22nd season, Love Island successfully produced a season this summer, and Dancing With the Stars, The Voice, and The Masked Singer are currently airing seasons without having a live studio audience.
So, what’s the problem? Well, it really hinges on the fact that Survivor insists on filming in another country.
COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Make Filming Survivor Very Tricky
Survivor has filmed in Fiji since season 33 and Probst has said that is where prefer to film because the country has been so welcoming and easy to work with. However, Fiji has kept their COVID numbers very low by going on complete lockdown, so there’s no way they will let the Survivor crew, which numbers around 400 people, into the country to shoot two seasons.
The good news is that CBS is exploring options outside of Fiji, according to Deadline.
“In terms of Survivor and The Amazing Race, we’ll get those into production as soon as we can safely get back into production. That’s going to be a little more complicated because we literally have to navigate some international waters,” CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl told Deadline.
There is the option of trying to film a season of Survivor in the United States, but about the only locations where that would work are Hawaii or one of the U.S. territories, like the U.S. Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico. But even that is pretty complicated, plus Probst told The Hollywood Reporter that they aren’t really looking at domestic options.
“Shooting in a foreign country is exponentially more complicated, and we are still exploring them. I’m on the phone every couple of days, either with the government of Fiji or with our executive teams that are in charge of logistics and planning. We’re continuing to lay out ideas. We don’t have a plan yet. It’s what we’re spending all our time doing because it’s not like we’re going to Atlanta to shoot a show,” said Probst.
In All Likelihood, Survivor Won’t Return Until Fall 2021
Inside Survivor recently reported that season 41 filming is most likely postponed until spring 2021. That could possibly get Survivor on the air in the summer of 2021, but we don’t think CBS will do that. We think they’ll hold season 41 for the fall 2021 TV season like they normally do, especially since they can put on shows like Big Brother and Love Island much more easily in the meantime.
Survivor hopes to film season 41 in the spring of 2021 for a fall 2021 premiere.
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