Despite the Fijian government putting in place new COVID-19 safety measures for film productions, Survivor‘s forty-first season is still a long way off from filming.
According to Inside Survivor sources, season 41 will not begin production until AT LEAST September, and even that remains up in the air. This comes after filming 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.
This delay in filming doesn’t just affect season 41, but also season 42, which was originally scheduled to film between May and July. Again, according to Inside Survivor sources, only season 41 will film in 2020, with the forty-second season pushed back until early 2021.
The official CBS Survivor Casting website reflects this change, as the homepage recently updated the tentative filming dates for season 43—while removing all mention of season 44. “We will be taping season 43 sometime between mid May 2021 and early July, 2021,” reads the casting website. The site originally mentioned those dates for season 44 with season 43 filming between April and May.
A little over a week ago, Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama released a statement announcing details of “Phase 2” of Fiji’s COVID-Safe Economic Recovery, which laid out protocols that will be put into place for upcoming film productions.
“Cast and crew won’t even be allowed to board their plane without proof of a negative COVID-19 test and will be screened for symptoms both before boarding and upon landing,” explained Bainimarama. “They’ll then be entered into government-designated quarantine—whether that’s a preapproved hotel or a remote isolated island—for the mandatory 14-day period.”
However, despite these provisions, no deal has been struck to resume filming in the immediate future, especially as there are still major restrictions on international travel outside of the US. All Survivor crew members remain at home as of writing, though the majority of the equipment and props are still in Fiji.
With filming not likely to resume until at least September, it begs the question, will season 41 even air in 2020? Back in May, during the Winners At War finale, Jeff Probst announced that CBS is committed to airing Survivor this fall. This confidence was backed up when the show featured in the CBS Fall schedule released later that same month.
“We are very proud of this schedule and these shows and we’re excited to get them on the air as soon as safely possible,” CBS Entertainment President Kelly Khal told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re confident — at the very least, hopeful — that production will resume in the summer and we’re hopeful most of these shows will be on this fall.”
Now with filming pushed back even further, the hope of Survivor airing this fall is looking more and more uncertain. If production doesn’t begin until September, it would require a rapid turnaround to get the show on the air before the end of the year. And while that is not impossible—Australian Survivor works on a similar schedule—it would still mean a much later than expected start.
For more discussion of season 41 and other rumors, you are welcome to join the new Inside Survivor Patreon, which has access to the Inside Survivor Discord server and other bonus perks!