Jeff Probst Confirms No Returning Players Through Season 48

The show is on a newbie kick.

Photo: CBS

It’s been a while since Survivor viewers have seen an all-returning player season, and according to Jeff Probst, fans will have to keep waiting.

The host and executive producer recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly‘s Dalton Ross about the lack of returning players in recent years, noting how he’s more interested in finding new people.

“[We] haven’t even thought about it,” Probst said in regards to bringing back past players. “I’m so happy with our casting team. I can’t tell you how fun it is when I’m in a casting session and this new person pops onto my screen and I get to talk to them about their life. The team is finding such interesting people, and those people are now being on the show and that influences people to apply.”

The show has only invited back one former player since it kicked off its “new era” in Survivor 41, but that was an exceptional circumstance. Bruce Perreault returned for Survivor 45 after suffering an injury minutes into Survivor 44 that required him to be pulled from the game. Other than that, Survivor has cast all new players since Survivor 41 and looks to continue to do so.

“It’s just a constant flow of fascinating people. Why would we want returning players? Not yet. Time is on our side. Let’s just keep going here,” Probst continued. “And that’s how I feel about seasons 47 and 48. We’re already meeting the people who are going to be playing months from now and we are jazzed about it. So until you said that, I don’t think I’d given it any thought. There was no thought about returning players in 46 or 47 or 48.”

As Ross pointed out, this recent string of seasons marks the longest stretch of all-new players since the first seven seasons. Survivor produced its first returnee All-Stars edition for Season 8 in 2004.

The Emmy-winning host did acknowledge there are players he’d love to see back, including Survivor 44 stand-out Carolyn Wiger, but explained it’s all about timing and finding the right combination.

“When you say, ‘Let’s bring Carolyn back’ — totally agreed. I’d love to see Carolyn play again. There’s a bunch of people I’d love to see play again,” Probst shared.

He added, “We don’t know who our returning players would be, but what you made me realize is creatively we look at things like this: If there is a full alphabet for an idea, and it goes from A to Z and that A to Z is for one idea, it’s easy to go from A to M to W to Z and get four great hits out of it. We would prefer to go from A to B to C to D to E to F, because we believe there’s gold in the wrinkle and in that little crevice. There’s a little nuance, it’s slightly different, let’s explore that.”

Ultimately, Probst concluded, “We’re not there yet for returning players. We feel like the new era is still unfolding, and you’re going to see it in season 46.”

Probst’s recent comments echo what Inside Survivor reported previously, the long-time host has made it clear he doesn’t want a returning player season until at least Season 50.

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.

10 responses to “Jeff Probst Confirms No Returning Players Through Season 48”

  1. Ugh Jeff annoys me so much. Just give your loyal fanbase their long overdue returnee season. Casting has sucked since 41 and he says it hasn’t??!! Interesting people? The 2 or 3 interesting people per new era season?

    Hope something happens in 47 that makes him change his mind. Probably too late then too. Bad news!

  2. I truly dislike the fact he now has so much power. We are not there yet? Chrissy, Domenic, Angelina, Christian, Devens have been waiting forever to get back.

    Let me paint you a picture Jeff. This would be a great cast:

    Second Chance 2:

    Cydney, Chrissy, Angelina, Nathalie Cole, Elaine
    Domenic, Michael Yerger, Davie, Christian, Devens

    Shan, Tori, Carolyn, Emily, Kellie
    Xander, Omar, Jesse, Cody, Kaleb

  3. So, Jeff says “ The team is finding such interesting people, and those people are now being on the show and that influences people to apply.” but it is ALSO turning people AWAY from applying too! After 20+ years of applying I have stopped applying BECAUSE of all of the casting changes!

  4. I would be interested in seeing players who were eliminated before jury slotting. A lot of interesting people are cut early and would – I think – be highly motivated to redeem themselves.

  5. I really like the idea of no previous survivor players coming back. But, heck yeah, I’d love to see players from other challenge type show up for this. Big Brother, Amazing Race, The Challenge USA, Touch as Nails, etc. Love to see these guys see what a challenge really is.

  6. The show has went downhill since they stopped going to new locations each season. I understand why, but the show suffers because of it. The best thing they did was bringing back the auction last season. It’s like they finally listened to long-time fans, something Jeff claims they always do. I agree with having a season of returnees, simply because casting has sucked lately. We had a season where the winner was the only likeable person, (42) one with a horrible winner, (43) the wrong person won in 44 & 45 was predictable. Of those 4, I only watched 44 till the very end because of each season’s cast. I wasn’t about to watch Mike or Dee get the check & Maryanne wasn’t enough to make me watch that cast for an entire season. It’s a shame. Give someone too much power & they give you what they want you to see, not what you actually want to see.

  7. The “New Era” has been like watching the island of misfit toys!

    Horrible casting full of losers with big sob stories.

    Bring back smart, attractive, devious, successful type A personalties and change locations! It’s like Groundhog Day!

    I’ve watched the first episode since season 42 and then couldn’t watch any more episodes. This season I didn’t even watch the first episode.

    The casting is not a snapshot of America anymore and I’m not interested in watching as it makes me sad because I used to love the show….

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