In a normal year, Survivor would be airing its latest season right now; however, production has been shut down since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning no new Survivor for the foreseeable future. But the show is preparing to get back up and running in 2021, and Jeff Probst is “feeling optimistic” about it.
Speaking to a fan in a recent Cameo video, the Emmy Award-winning host explained that he and the Survivor crew tried to film this year, but it just wasn’t possible. “We tried, we tried, we tried, oh did we try,” Probst says. “I thought we were going the second time, I was certain we were going to shoot, but it just is impossible.”
Production was initially postponed back in March until mid-May before eventually been shut down indefinitely in early April after the World Health Organization declared coronavirus a pandemic. There was still hope of filming later in the year, with CBS even including Survivor on its fall 2020-2021 line-up. That plan was later scrapped as Fiji’s borders remained closed to non-citizens.
“We have 400 crew members from 20 different countries,” Probst continues in the Cameo video. “The border restrictions alone were an issue, then the medical care in Fiji, you know, we just couldn’t risk it.”
CBS ended up pulling Survivor from the fall schedule back in July as it became clear there was no chance of having a season ready in that time-frame. There was some hope of filming in September for a Spring premiere, though those plans also fell through. But production has been working on ways to get things running again in 2021.
“We were working on a way to get back out there in 2021,” Probst explains. “And I feel optimistic that not only will we shoot but that it’s going to be really good.”
Inside Survivor recently reported that Survivor aims to begin shooting again in Spring 2021, with CBS even pushing to film three seasons next year, though that is yet to be confirmed. The hope is that Fiji will relax restrictions early next year, though, as we mentioned two weeks ago, countries such as the Dominican Republic have been looked into as potential back-up locations.
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Survivor has been recasting over the past few months for seasons 41 and 42, which Probst touches on in the Cameo. “We have some amazing people ready to play,” he says. “We’ve spent all our time thinking about where we can take the show and casting the show, and there’s just some incredibly cool people out there, a lot of really great young people out there.”
CBS recently set new diversity guidelines for its unscripted reality programming, including Survivor, promising casts of at least 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color). This has been a key focus in recent recasting. Probst also encouraged teenagers to apply during the Winners At War reunion show, and Inside Survivor can confirm that at least some teens, as young as 16, have been contacted by casting.
“I think [the casting] is going to take the show kind of to that Survivor 2.0; it’s the next iteration,” Probst continues. “And all this beautiful cultural upheaval will become part of the show now. I think it’s going to be great. It will feel and look the same, but different, which is exactly what we want in every season.
Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for more information in the coming weeks.