Update On Survivor Season 41, Filming Postponed Until 2021

More delays…

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It’s been a tumultuous year for Survivor as the coronavirus pandemic forced production to shut down back in March. Despite hopes of filming season 41 in the fall, Inside Survivor sources tell us that production is now postponed until spring 2021, meaning fans are in for an extra-long off-season.

Production is said to be returning to its regular time-frame, albeit a year behind schedule, with the aim to film seasons 41 and 42 from April-July 2021 in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands. It’s unclear at this moment when CBS would air these seasons, but if it followed the usual pattern, we could theoretically be waiting until this time next year until we see new Survivor. And that’s based on production being able to start in April, which depends entirely on the state of the pandemic.

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This news comes just two months after CBS removed Survivor from its fall 2020-2021 line-up. The network originally hoped the show would be able to film in time for a late September 2020 premiere; however, with international travel restrictions and strict COVID-19 protocols, Survivor was unable to get up and running within that time-frame.

Hope remained that Survivor could film in the fall and air in early 2021. The Fijian government even put into place new COVID-19 safety measures for film productions, a promising sign that plans were in motion. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough, as Fiji’s borders remain closed to non-citizens.

The bottom line is, it’s extremely difficult for anyone to film internationally right now, especially a production the size of Survivor. In recent months, we’ve seen other international productions change course. Love Island USA, which also films in Fiji, is shooting its new season domestically, in Las Vegas, Nevada. While in the UK, ITV confirmed that its next season of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, which usually shoots in Australia, will be filmed in an “old castle” in the Welsh countryside.

It’s unknown if Survivor ever considered filming domestically; one has to imagine it was at least discussed as an option. However, based on recent interviews, Jeff Probst seems against the idea of filming in the US. A big reason for that is that Survivor already has the infrastructure in Fiji. Not only do they have a great relationship with the government, but they receive a substantial tax rebate for filming there—though rebates are currently frozen. Also, pre-production on season 41 started back in January through to early April, so many of the props and equipment are already in place.

The other major issue is in transporting crew to Fiji. Survivor has a 400+ production team made up of people from all over the world. For example, there are a lot of Australians that work on the show, many of them in high priority roles. Right now, Australia still has a strict international travel ban in place. Last month, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison dashed hopes that the ban will be lifted before Christmas, confirming the restrictions will remain in place “indefinitely.”

This would make it near impossible for the Australian crew members to travel to Fiji unless they could somehow prove their work is essential. This is a similar situation for many citizens from other countries who also work on the show. So the logistical problems this causes the Survivor production are enormous.

What does this mean in terms of casting? Well, last month, the casting department went back to work, accepting and reviewing applications for season 43. However, as far as Inside Survivor knows, there is now a freeze on casting for season 43. Any ongoing casting will be to fill potential spots for seasons 41 and 42. Given the amount of time that has passed, it’s highly likely that the casts for 41/42 will change drastically from their original makeup.

For more discussion of season 41 and other rumors, you are welcome to join the Inside Survivor Patreon, which has access to the Inside Survivor Discord server and other bonus perks!


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.


13 responses to “Update On Survivor Season 41, Filming Postponed Until 2021”

  1. Filming in Hawaii, the US VI, or some US governed tropical area would work best at this point. But sounds like they don’t want to train, or bring crew from overseas and quarantine for two weeks. Plus the prob and challenge set ups are probably a pain to just tear down, ship and rebuild.

  2. Why doesn’t Survivor take each season take out the best parts and show each season in a 2 HR show. This would allow survivor fans something to look forward to. It seems to be working for the bachelor.

  3. An entire year with no Survivor? That doesn’t sound like good odds to me….I was pretty sure this was the downfall of Survivor & the more “updates” about it the more of a really (pun intended) it is becoming – Survivor is as good as over!

      • Maybe so but who’s to say that it would have the viewership with/after such a gap between seasons? I’ sure you know that other shows (or “reboots” of previews shows) have not been successful as the “original” run/show. These kinds of extended breaks between shows/seasons (not to mention not knowing when that would be) hurts shows – which can be its downfall. Are you denying that?

        • That can happen sure. But we’re in an unprecedented situation. Countless other shows are in the same predicament. It’s not as if CBS has cancelled the show or forced it to go a on break. There is a pandemic happening. The fact is, the show is commissioned for another cycle of seasons.

          • OK, but if they can’t film &/or it keeps getting pushed back & delayed (like it has already been), what does that do to the “commission”? They were “commissioned” to be on in the fall but that is already a bust, right? So I can’t (honestly) day I trust that aspect of it.
            If you think I’m being harsh, perhaps I am – my opinion/feelings on Survivor are (a bit more) lacking for reasons this isn’t the place to get into & I am loosing faith in Survivor so this doesn’t improve anything in that regard.

  4. They could do an entire season of outtakes and/or highlights from previous seasons, or a “where are they now?” episode on each of the former winners (and runners-up maybe).

  5. Andy, maybe the show isn’t what it used to be, and maybe it will end in the next few years. Who’s to honestly know? People thought it would end after a few seasons, then after 20, and so on. But I say that we should just enjoy it on a season by season basis. It’s not worth arguing over. We have a great community of dedicated fans. Let’s celebrate the show and our mutual love of said show.

    • What does the show “isn’t what it use to be” have to be with anything? Do you honestly know what I am/was talking about or are you just assuming things? I don’t think you (really) know what I’m talking about so your – I guess advance – is kind of irrelevant to the issue(s) I have….

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