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Inside Survivor: 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.
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.
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.
That's a lot of block text, but it's a ton of useful information so give it a read. Martin Holmes is the best in the business at getting inside Survivor information.
The quick summary is this: new episodes of Survivor might not be on our television screens until this time next year. That is a scary, horrifying thought. I've accepted for some time now that there won't be any new episodes this fall, but I was hopeful that they'd be able to film a season in time to get us Season 41 in the spring. It now seems like that won't happen.
The coronavirus is essentially non-existent in Fiji. They've had 32 total cases and 2 deaths. Safe to say it's slightly more under control there than here in the United States, so it's understandable that they're being extremely cautious when it comes to accepting travelers. And as much as Survivor is people stranded on a deserted island, it's also way more than that. It's a reality TV show with a crew of 400 people. The show itself may seem like one of the easier shows to do in quarantine, since they are literally quarantined, but there's more to it than initially meets the eye. Testing hundreds of people and then isolating them and then flying them out is probably difficult to figure out logistically, especially if the Fiji government just won't let them. And doing it domestically is also tough with all the equipment already being set up in Fiji. There's just a ton of problems.
But in the words of a wise, mustached man - FIGURE IT OUT.
TOMMY NEEDS SURVIVOR. AMERICA NEEDS SURVIVOR. THE WORLD NEEDS SURVIVOR.
See if you can reach an agreement with Fiji to fly out a limited crew. Test them, isolate them, and then fly them out. Test them again when they land in Fiji. Or do it here in America. Figure out the infrastructure. It won't feel like "true Survivor" if it's not on a remote island, but the rules will be the same. I watch Survivor for the strategy and social experiment. That can be replicated in other environments.
I am just sad. We are coming off perhaps the greatest season of all time with Winners at War and now we'll have to wait over a year for new Survivor.
Sadness. Just sadness.
Also, perhaps most importantly, when the HELL am I supposed to apply now? Right now is typically casting season, but with future seasons being so up in the air, I have no idea what to do. Am I going to be on Season 41, 42, 43, or 44?!?!
There should be two main priorities in America right now.
1. Find a vaccine.
2. Figure out how to film Survivor.