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Update: Survivor Production Delayed Due To Coronavirus Fears


Filming of seasons 41 and 42 postponed…

Photo Credit: TimoOK Flickr via Compfight cc

Survivor is delaying production on seasons 41 and 42 amid growing concerns about the coronavirus, as first reported by Entertainment Weekly.

While Winners At War is currently airing on CBS, the Survivor production team was preparing to begin filming its 41st season in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands beginning on March 24. However, host and executive producer Jeff Probst recently confirmed that production will be postponed due to the widespread of coronavirus, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

While filming was initially pushed back until mid-May, that time-table is now also in question. Inside Survivor can report that all production crew who were already in Fiji have now been sent home. Meanwhile, trusted spoiler source SurvivorFan37 reports that production on US Survivor has been shut down indefinitely.

Since 2009, Survivor has filmed two seasons back-to-back in the same location, with the first season in the cycle usually shooting between March-May and the second from May-July. The suspension of production means that both seasons will now be delayed until further notice.

This news comes after Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, confirmed the third case of COVID-19 in the country. With Survivor’s crew made up of hundreds of people from all over the world, the show and the Fijian government didn’t want to take the risk of spreading the infection amongst crew staff, cast members, and local residents.

“Due to the growing short-term uncertainty surrounding the global spread of COVID-19 and the corresponding desire for the continued well-being of our amazing crew, we have decided to push back our start date for Survivor season 41,” Probst wrote in a letter sent to production staff earlier this month.

“This situation is unprecedented and we are learning more information every day. It is out of concern for the well-being of all of you that we have taken this step. Our intention is to begin production after the S40 live show. Therefore, subject to new information, our new planned start date for production would be on or about May 19, 2020. Our intention is to still shoot both seasons 41 and 42.”

Of course, with the recent news, the likelihood of production resuming in May is slim to none. What this means for seasons 41 and 42 remains unclear. In the past, Survivor did use to film later in the year on a late May to early September schedule, covering a two-season cycle. So it’s theoretically possible that season 41 could still be filmed for a late September premiere, but that would depend on the state of the pandemic which is changing daily.

As recently reported by Inside Survivor, casting wrapped for seasons 41 and 42 in early March. However, we have learned there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes panic regarding this situation with the coronavirus, with lots of swapping and changing of cast members between the two seasons. 

The postponing of Survivor production follows the recent news of CBS suspending production of The Amazing Race midway through filming. 

Stay tuned to Inside Survivor for further updates.

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 and Vulture, 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.