As “Survivor” host Jeff Probst is wont to do at the tail-end of a season finale, he concluded last Wednesday’s three-hour extravaganza that featured a shelter-in-place reading of the votes with a verbal preview of what could be expected of Season 41. “Let’s talk about our 41st season,” Probst said. “Normally we show you a cool promo, but for obvious reasons we haven’t been able to shoot.” “Survivor” is far from the only TV production that has been delayed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic shut down. In fact, Season 41 was supposed to have been filmed on Fiji in March, but the shooting was delayed.
He continued: “We’re always trying to explore and evolve the show and take chances and we’re gonna do that. We’re committed to being on in the fall with our 41st season, which means you should apply, especially if you’re young. I’m talking teenagers — 16, 17, 18, 19. Do it. Cool parents and a cool school? Who knows. It could happen.”
As is normal for zealous fans of a long-running show, speculation exploded about what exactly an all-teen lineup would be like and how they could film a season that would air in this fall. At least one commentator on a YouTube version of Jeff’s tease tossed this out there: “This season might be filmed in the U.S. So they dropped the age since they will stay in the U.S. You have to be 18 to leave the U.S. alone. That is the bright side, no more Fiji! New location.”
But not everyone is certain that “Survivor” could achieve this so quickly. As another comment writer noted, “It’s a major bummer that filming is postponed. I’ve seen people saying that filming will be in the U.S., which would be great. Unfortunately, as of right now, there’s nothing to back that statement. I know that a lot of people are jumping to conclusions in that due to the age limit in applying being 16-plus now. However, that’s simply not the case. If you go to the casting website, they’re actually casting for Season 43. My best guess is that 16 and 17 year olds who apply and are liked by the casting crew will be given a spot later.”
The audition site does say that Survivor 43 will be taping between May and early June in 2021.
Another comment addressed the one thing I fear most about an adolescent-filled season: “So they didn’t have Hatch on this season because they didn’t want anything bad to happen. Yet they’re gonna have underage kids on ‘Survivor’? This has trouble all over it.” Anyone remember how MTV’s once-thoughtful “The Real World” devolved into a wild and crazy party zone over the years?
In any case, the predicted premiere date of Season 41 is September 23 of this year. As Jeff said on air, they are committed to coming back in the fall, and if they follow past protocol, this would be the date. If filming started in July, whatever the locale and format, it could make it on air by then. Share your thoughts below of how an all-teen edition of CBS’ long-running reality show could be pulled off by then and whether it is a good idea.