It’s been a whopping seven months since “Survivor” last aired on TV, meaning the two-decade-old show is experiencing its longest hiatus ever. Due to the raging Covid-19 pandemic, production has not yet been able to travel to Fiji to film the 41st season. On Thursday, December 10, host Jeff Probst gave an update in which he revealed he’s “optimistic” the new episodes can start filming in 2021.
“I wish I could tell you that my gift to you was a new season of ‘Survivor,’ because I would love to be watching it,” he said. “I’d love to be hearing [the theme song] right now. But nope. We tried, we tried, we tried. Oh, did we try. I thought we were going the second time. I was certain we were gonna shoot, but it just was impossible. We have 400 crew members from 20 different countries. The border restrictions alone were an issue and then the medical care in Fiji — you know, we just couldn’t risk it.”
CBS’s original plan was to film Seasons 41 and 42 back-to-back in the summer of 2020, but that was scrapped as the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread.
“We are working on a plan to get back out there in 2021,” Probst added. “I feel optimistic that not only will we shoot, but it’s gonna be really good. We have some amazing people ready to play. We have spent all of 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. I think it’s gonna take the show to that ‘Survivor 2.0.'”
Probst’s “young people” comment is a reference to his call to action at the end of the “Survivor: Winners at War” season finale, in which he asked teenagers to apply to be on the show. “You should apply, especially if you’re young,” he announced at the time. “I’m talking teenagers — 16, 17, 18, 19. Do it. Cool parents and a cool school? Who knows. It could happen.”
Are you bummed “Survivor” didn’t air any new episodes this fall? Join the club. The semi-good news for diehard fans is that two classic seasons of this reality TV show are now streaming on Netflix: “Heroes vs. Villains” and “Cagayan.” In addition, all 40 past cycles can be streamed at CBS All Access.