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Survivor Challenge Producer Thinks The Show Will Make It To Season 50


At least 10 more seasons of Survivor?

Photo: CBS

The Survivor crew is currently out in Fiji filming season 40 of the reality-tv stalwart, a momentous milestone that nobody could have predicted when the show debuted in the summer death slot 19 years ago. But if you think Survivor is planning on hanging up its torch any time soon, you should think again.

“I think we’ll make it to [season] 50,” long-time challenge producer John Kirhoffer told Entertainment Weekly’s Dalton Ross while on location for season 40. Kirhoffer is one of a handful of crew members that have been with Survivor since the very first season in Borneo and is the brains behind many of the show’s iconic challenges.

Kirhoffer’s second-in-command and producer Chris Marchand echoed the sentiments regarding a potential fiftieth season. “Yeah, I think we’ll make it to 50,” he told Ross. “We’re baseball. People love baseball. The same fans that love baseball aren’t the same fans that love Survivor, but they watch it the same. They watch it like it’s a sporting event.”

Right now, though, the crew is focused on filming season 40, which we reported back in April is an all-winners edition featuring 20 former Survivor champions. It’s a landmark season and even the crew can feel something special in the air. “I believe everybody’s got a little extra pep in their step, and there was a lot of pride yesterday on day 1 of filming,” Kirhoffer explained to Ross.

“It’s another milestone. I remember season 20 thinking, ‘Wow, okay. We’ve got a few more now and then we’ll go.’ … So I think the vibe around camp with everybody was pretty high. There was a lot of hugs in the morning, a lot of high fives. So yeah, it’s a lot of pride because it’s a family. It was like a big family celebration.”

Executive producer Matt Van Wagenen also talked about the “special feelings” surrounding season 40 in a recent interview with Ross on EW Morning Live. “I would like to say that it’s business as usual and we’re a machine, but this one definitely has some special feelings,” Van Wagenen said on the first few days of filming.

“Today we took a picture out with Jeff (Probst), Jesse Jensen (Executive Producer), John Kirhoffer and Scott Duncan (Cinematographer), four people who have worked on all the seasons and have been out on location working on every single season, and that was an impressive thing to think about.”

Season 40 is currently filming in Fiji and will air on CBS in early 2020.


Martin is a 31-year-old writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider, previously ET Canada and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull.



  • Kirsten Doyle

    I don’t know… I think a lot of people tossed their hands in the air when EoE was won by a guy who spent most of the game sitting around bonding with the jury before being handed an idol and sent back into the game. Survivor will have to come up with a phenomenal season to make up for that letdown (and in my opinion, the producers are digging the hole even deeper with back to back seasons of Rob and Sandra).

    • Runjeev Ignatius

      Yeah I agree, along with Devens being handed idols left and right, I felt the show jumped the shark this season. But because every season is essentially a reboot I think they can get back to former glory, especially if they don’t meddle as much and keep tribe-swaps and advantages/idols to a minimum.

      • yeltra

        I agree, but I know casuals, that think this was the best season ever. (I think I just threw up a little in my mouth, just writing that statement), but my point is maybe we need some crap seasons like this to keep ratings up, which keeps the show on the air. Throw the real fans a David vs Goliath once in a while. Maybe that’s the best we can hope for, at this point.

    • Jen Neiman

      your so negative