While die-hards scrambled to fill the void of the show’s year long absence, the mega CBS franchise competition show, “Survivor,” aproposly survives the pandemic as it reenters the production phase of its 41st season. The blood rushing, reality TV hit returns with various changes to its format with regards to safety provisions in mind.
“Survivor” was all set to begin filming in March and May of 2020. Like most things, coronavirus put those plans to rest. With it’s 40th season’s reunion being filmed virtually back in May, hopes were high that the franchise would return in the Fall. Though, with the pandemic rapidly increasing—and almost half a thousand of “Survivor” crew members being international—this wasn’t the case.
While the show was in recent headlines for much more scandalous reasons (infamous competitor, Johnny Fairplay’s unfortunate run-in with the law), “Survivor” fans rejoiced as production for the show’s 41st season was announced by host/executive producer Jeff Probst on a Twitter post:
“I can’t remember a time I’ve been this pumped to shoot “Survivor,” and I’ll tell you why,” says Probst, “The past year has reminded me, and I hope it’s reminded you, that you’ve got to live your life like it’s one big great adventure, and “Survivor” fulfills that. So I am thrilled to say, I will see you on the island for “Survivor 41.” Let’s do it!”
The backdrop for this highly anticipated new season is none other than the breathtaking island of Fiji. While the borders of Fiji have been closed, the Ministry of Trade and Commerce happily made an exception and welcomed the crew to their beautiful country.
“They [the crew] have to stagger the way they actually come because most of the crew are sitting in different parts of the world,” Fiji’s Minister of Commerce, Faiyaz Koya tells FBC News, “but all done under the guidance of the Ministry of Health. We follow the necessary protocol to protect our own citizens.”
While the season’s cast remains a secret, prospective “Survivor” applicants will be sorry to find out that auditions for it’s 42nd go around are already closed. Though the cast is laid out for these next two seasons, there’s great news for outdoors experts looking to compete for the 43rd season.
CBS’s spoke out about their most recent initiative to incorporate more diversity in their record breaking reality shows.The network’s efforts to provide proper representation includes mandates that will see at least 50% of their cast being BIPOC this year and on!
George Cheeks, CEO of the CBS Entertainment Group addressed their efforts in a statement back in November saying, “The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling.”
While the P’s and Q’s of the prosecution’s Covid-19 safety protocols are still unknown, Probst assures fans on Twitter that all necessary precautions were being taken. It’s safe to say that procedures such as two-week quarantines prior to arriving on set and proper sanitization that have been seen on other CBS reality shows will be applied.
Fans wait with baited breath as we still don’t exactly know when the season will be released. Though there’s certainty that millions of eyes will be glued to their TV screens when the beloved show finally returns.
“Survivor” airs on CBS and can be streamed through Hulu, Paramount Plus, and Amazon Prime.
By Omar Letson