The Fijian government shutting down international travel recently had “Survivor” fans worried about the filming schedule. But now it sounds like the new batch of castaways arrived safely and filming is imminent. Here’s what we know about the filming schedule for seasons 41 and 42.
Season 42 Is Beginning Filming May 15 and 16
Previously, the permanent secretary for the Fijian Ministry of Health, Dr. James Fong, had said at a press conference that they needed to get “a much firmer grasp” on the COVID-19 outbreak currently happening in Fiji before “considering reopening international passenger travel.”
“I want to be clear with everyone: Fiji suspended all international passenger flights from all countries on the 22nd of April,” said Dr. Fong at a press conference, adding, “We are not labeling countries as high-risk or low-risk – we simply are not taking passengers from any countries at all.”
However, production sources told Inside Survivor that the season 42 cast was able to get to Fiji and start quarantining, either before the travel ban went into effect or perhaps they received special permission to fly into the country — Inside Survivor’s source didn’t specify. But the site did receive reports from locals that some passenger flights were still operating in and out of the country.
So because the cast arrived safely and quarantined, filming for season 42 begins this weekend, May 15 and 16.
Season 41 is Wrapped and Both Seasons Will Be Shorter Than Normal
Season 41 wrapped earlier this week and now host Jeff Probst and the “Survivor” crew are jumping right into season 42 — but both seasons will not be the normal 39 days.
Every season of “Survivor” up until now has been 39 days — or longer, in the case of the Australian Outback season.
But at least for 41 and 42, the shooting scheduled has been condensed down to 26-29 days, according to Inside Survivor, most likely because of the added two-week quarantine ahead of filming.
What does that mean for the televised version of the show? Not that much. Instead of keeping the show on a three-day schedule between Tribal Councils, the show will probably just have things on a two-day schedule. It has already been combining reward and immunity challenges a lot in recent years, so that won’t be anything new, and the season’s episode count will probably stay the same — there have been 14 episodes per season for the past six seasons.
The only thing that might change for “Survivor” is the number of double eliminations or episodes without an elimination. With 14 episodes, there are 12 that air prior to the two-hour finale and live reunion. There are almost always has five castaways left going into the finale, which means if the cast has 20 people, there would need to be 15 eliminations across 12 episodes, which is three double eliminations.
If the cast has 18 people, there would need to be one double elimination. If the cast only has 16 people, there would be one episode without an elimination. So fans will just have to wait and see what the size of the seasons 41 and 42 casts are when CBS announces them.
“Survivor” is back in production now. If the pattern holds, it should be premiering its 41st season the third or fourth week of September 2021.