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Survivor Staying In Fiji… Forever?


Jeff Probst reveals that he wants Fiji to be the permanent home of Survivor going forward.

It looks like Fiji is set to become the permanent home of Survivor, at least if Jeff Probst has anything to do with it. For the past four seasons, the long-running reality-series has filmed in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands – including the upcoming Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers and next year’s Survivor: Ghost Island. The exotic location has proven so successful that the show may just be staying there indefinitely.

“I hope we stay here forever,” Probst told EW‘s Dalton Ross, referring to the Fiji location. It’s not the first time the Emmy Award winning host has shared this sentiment, during a live Facebook Q&A last year, Probst said that Fiji “is the ideal Survivor location” and that “if [he] could go there for the rest of [his] Survivor career, [he] would sign that deal right now.” The reasons Probst is so high on Fiji is because of what it offers not only in terms of filming logistics but in the ease of working with the local government.

“Fiji offers us everything that we want,” the host tells EW. “Incredibly beautiful water that you can see down 30 feet, beaches that are amazing, a government that is working with us, local labor that loves to say ‘Bula!’ every day because they’re just happy you’re here. And our crew has never been as happy. We actually have decent accommodations to do this show out in the jungle. It’s a win-win-win.”

For years Survivor bounced all over the globe, everywhere from the Australian Outback to the Brazilian Highlands to the Plains of Africa, providing each season with its own unique landscape and cultural feel. But in 2009, in an effort to cut down production costs, the show began filming two seasons back-to-back in the same location. Countries such as Samoa, Nicaragua, and the Philippines have been used on multiple occasions, but Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands is the first location to be used for four consecutive installments (they shot four seasons in a row in the Philippines but in completely different areas).

Probst said that the world has changed significantly from when Survivor started 18 years ago. “It’s been two decades. It’s a different world. There are not as many places we can go for lots of reasons — the economy, population, political unrest, weather patterns.” For this reason, as well as the beauty Fiji provides, the host and executive producer believes they’ve found a permanent home for the future of the series. “When you find yourself in a leadership position, what you do realize is, you have to make decisions,” he tells Dalton. “It would be great to say, no we’re going to go all over the world. No, there is nowhere to go. This is our home. I hope we end our show here.”

The latest news seems to confirm Inside Survivor’s earlier speculation about seasons 37 and 38 filming in Fiji. The Mana Island Resort, which houses production crew during filming, is once again booked up from March 2018 onwards.

UPDATE 12/27/17: An article posted by the Fiji Times on November 2 appears to confirm that Survivor will remain in Fiji for the foreseeable future. In the report, Mana Island general manager Patrick Wong states that the resort has been fully booked by television production crew for both 2018 and 2019.

“This buyout is for next year and the following year as well, so it is certainly great for Fiji,” Wong told the publication. “You know the Government of the day is pushing very hard to encourage investors from the film industry into having locations in Fiji and there are great incentives available. It spins the benefits not just in the main tourism belts but to the rural parts of Fiji and the local community too.”

That would mean Survivor is staying in Fiji until at least Season 40, which would film during the summer of 2019.

UPDATE 01/14/18: In a further update, the Mana Island Resort & Spa has now confirmed that they are closed for bookings between March and July for the next three years. The information was posted at OurPacific.co.nz, the notice can be seen below:

ManaResortBuyOut

This means Survivor intends to stay in Fiji until at least Season 42, which would film in summer 2020.

What do you think about Survivor staying in Fiji? Let us know in the comments.

Photo Credit: TimoOK Flickr via Compfight cc

 


Martin is a 29-year-old writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing, and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and ET Canada, previously 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.



  • Marionete

    The last few sentences say it all. The themes will get really corny and I would really love them to film in Indonesia, Vietnam, or some other remote tropical island like Palau.

    • Donnie Johnson

      ageed….new locals Less BS themes

    • Chris Bacani

      Agreed. The sooner they start finding new locations the sooner they don’t need to resort to themes and gimmicks. And I hope it will happen. So You Think You Can Dance producers eventually learned that the stupid themes don’t work and that people wanted a traditional season of SYTYCD.

      I’d personally like to see them go to Indonesia, Japan, India, Vietnam, Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Hawaii, Bahamas, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, New Zealand, Madagascar. There’s a number of tropical exotic places they can go. I personally feel the new location is more interesting than a themed season.

  • yeltra

    Unlike real estate, which is location, location, location. Survivor’s mantra should be cast, cast, cast. Give me a good cast and the location is almost irrelevant. Fiji for the next 35 seasons is fine with me.
    PS Probst will still look the same.

  • Stella

    I’d be fine with it. It’s a beautiful place , and obviously it’s easier for the producers to stay in one place. It has everything that a game of Survivor needs, and to me it’s never been about the surroundings anyway. It’s all about the game, and that can happen anywhere.

  • John Snowden

    What he’s probably not saying directly is that as returns diminish because the advertising model shifts techtonically, and their audience doesn’t grow, if they want the show to continue, they need to minimize costs. And if it keeps the show economically viable, I’m all for it! The show was hardly ever about the location.

  • Donnie Johnson

    Im NOT fine with. Part of what Made Survivor great was going to a new exotic location. im tired of the same local. There are still so many amazing places to see. If this turns out to happen i will be VERY dissapointed

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  • Whistler

    And probably re use all those puzzles and challenges, just because it’s easy. I understand from a production point of view but as a viewer I need some change. Survivor is getting lazy. I say, drop the stupid themes and work on a great new location and some interesting challenges. See Ausie Survivor.

  • Andy Pfeiffer

    Big Brother numbers seasons and uses the same house. I wouldn’t mind it if Survivor did the same. Survivor 37 may not have the same ring to it as a location name, but it would certainly be acceptable (Survivor 39 could be “39 Days”). Probst is right that there are only so many places they can film that work (and very few new ones) and the last thing they want is another awful location like Cambodia. If this gives the show stability, then I am all for it.

    But like some other commenters said, they should use this to not be lazy. Give us good casts, new challenges instead of the redundant garbage they keep giving us, and stop with the nonsense themes. They’re using their creativity in the wrong realms and the show’s quality can only suffer for it.

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