March 07, 2011 12:00 PM by Ryan Haidet
Typically by this time of year, CBS would have already announced that Survivor has been renewed for two new seasons. But so far, that has not happened yet. Will Survivor end after Redemption Island, or will the show be renewed for seasons 23 and 24? Will host Jeff Probst step away from the show and move on to other opportunities like co-hosting alongside Kelly Ripa when Regis Philbin leaves his seat later this year? Has American Idol‘s ratings killed Survivor? Despite all of the signs that have some fans worried Survivor may be done, I think CBS isn’t finished with the reality hit yet.
By the end of January 2010, Survivor had been renewed. We’re now in early March with no official word that the show will be returning, but I don’t think it’s dead yet. There are strong signs that indicate Survivor will likely be renewed for more editions.
First, applications have already been submitted with online voting in the Sears contestant contest complete. Does this mean that producers are definitely going to have a season because they’ve taken applications? Absolutely not. But they wouldn’t have taken applications if CBS wasn’t considering more seasons in the first place. Why create a sponsored casting process without executing the end result?
Secondly, executive producer Mark Burnett told reporters in a conference call before the premiere of Survivor: Redemption Island that he believes there will be more seasons on the way. He based his prediction on the simple fact that successful television shows stay on the air while others are ripped off the airwaves. Yes, the ratings have dipped this season posting record-low numbers, but 22 seasons in, the show is still holding its own. So far this season, the first three episodes of Survivor: Redemption Island have ranked in second place regarding viewership for the time slot. That’s considering Survivor is now directly battling against American Idol.
Third, multiple sources from potential locations for upcoming seasons have been reporting news regarding Survivor‘s interest in filming the show in their area. Again, proof producers are looking at the future of the show.
The biggest question mark is regarding Jeff Probst. If he decides to dash to New York City to take Regis Philbin’s position, I think Survivor is toast. Why would CBS want to bring new blood into a show that is already so old? Survivor isn’t like Idol, folks. It does have its solid footing with loyal fans, but Probst has more of an impact than many people realize. He doesn’t just host the show, but he assists in producing it. If he leaves, so does his 11 years of experience. After all, who would be a good person to fill his shoes? OK, maybe Charlie Sheen. He does claim to have tiger blood, which might be the “winning” choice for Survivor.
Back to the focal point.
Will Probst take the Regis gig? Nobody knows for sure. But there is support for Probst if he does decide to leave Survivor. Howard Stern said recently on his Sirius satellite radio show that if Probst wants to take Philbin’s post that he should do it. Entertainment Weekly mentioned Probst in one of their features as being a good choice to replace Regis. But it’s also important to note that Probst isn’t the only serious contender for the position. Throughout the years, many other celebrities have stepped in to fill the seat when Regis was away leaving ample amounts of Hollywood folks to choose from with experience on the show.
Plus, Probst just launched JeffProbst.com, which is almost entirely based around Survivor. Why bother if it’s only good for one season? Unless he’s doing this now in preparation for NYC, but I doubt it.
I’ve covered the show for a long time now. My gut feeling? Survivor will return with seasons 23 and 24 with Probst along for the ride. CBS understands the loyal fanbase and knows there is still a solid commitment every week like there has been since the show first premiered 11 years ago. But if we don’t have an official announcement by mid-April, I think then it’s time start getting worried. Until now, it’s just a waiting game.
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Topics: American Idol, CBS Reality TV Shows, FOX Reality TV Shows, Survivor |
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