Jeff Probst Clarifies His Stance on Returning Players in Future Seasons

Survivor is still open to honoring its history.

Photo: CBS

Last year, a misunderstood quote from Survivor host and executive producer Jeff Probst had some fans worried about the future of returning player seasons, with many taking Probst’s statement to mean no more players from before season 41.

In an interview with Variety ahead of Survivor 41, the Emmy-winning host said, “For right now, where Survivor needs to go is with fresh faces, fresh voices, players who are of the moment, players who can let us watch them and learn.” The confusion perhaps lies in a line from the article’s author, who wrote, “Gone, too, for the foreseeable future, are returning competitors from the show’s first 20 years.”

Probst has now clarified what he meant. Speaking to Parade‘s Mike Bloom ahead of the upcoming Survivor 43 premiere, Probst said, “I’m definitely not saying we’re done with anyone who played in the first 40 seasons. Not at all.”

He continued, “Let’s be clear; we are premiering our 43rd season on the shoulders of all the great players from the past 42 seasons. That’s our Hall of Fame! We would not still be going without all our great players from past seasons.”

“I only meant that I think we’re wise to let new players explore this new version and see where it leads,” Probst added. “It’s our best chance at having a pure experience we can all learn from. I know there are so many former players who want to play again, and I truly ache for them because I know they feel it’s out of their control. All I can say is that we have no idea where the future will lead us. We are doing the same thing we say to the players… staying open and adapting every day.”


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Survivor’s last returnee season was the all-star-filled Winners At War for the show’s milestone 40th season, which featured players from across the show’s 20+ year history. Survivor 43, which is set to premiere September 21, will see 18 brand new castaways competing for $1 million and the title of Sole Survivor.

Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for more Survivor 43 coverage.

Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, 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. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

2 responses to “Jeff Probst Clarifies His Stance on Returning Players in Future Seasons”

  1. I’m ok with this current trajectory of Survivor, we are in a new era, a new type of casting, we should take some time, a few years , and let these seasons make their own all stars instead of relying on the old ones

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