For the first time since 2001, “Survivor” is not airing as a part of CBS’s fall schedule. The culprit? You guessed it: Covid-19. The network had initially hoped to film the 41st season of its hit reality TV show during the early summer and air it in September, but due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, those plans were scrapped. Instead, “The Amazing Race” Season 32 will inherit the show’s Wednesday-at-8pm slot beginning October 14.
Understandably, “Survivor” fans have been going through withdrawals — but it’s particularly tough right now as the new season typically begins airing in the final week of September. “Island of the Idols” (Season 39) debuted Sept. 25, 2019, “David vs. Goliath” (Season 37) dropped Sept. 26, 2018, “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers” (Season 35) began Sept. 27, 2017, etc. In other words, Season 41 should be airing this week.
“The situation is unprecedented and we are learning more information every day,” host/producer Jeff Probst informed his crew about the show’s lengthy hiatus. “It is out of concern for the well-being of all of you that we have taken this step.” Fiji’s borders still remain closed due to the virus, so CBS’s new goal is to film the next two installments back-to-back between April and June of 2021 and air them as soon as they’re ready.
Why is “Survivor” so determined to film in Fiji and not somewhere else? After 16 years of globe-trotting and exploring, the show officially moved to Mamanuca Islands, Fiji in the South Pacific for “Millennials vs. Gen X” (Season 33). “I hope we stay here forever,” Probst declared in 2017 while praising the country’s clear water, beautiful beaches and friendly government.
One bit of good news is that all of the contestants for “Survivor 41” had already been selected prior to production being shut down. They were officially cast in February 2020 and have been in a holding pattern ever since. It’s assumed that the cast is made up of entirely new players, as the past season, “Winners at War,” memorably welcomed back 20 returning champions. In that season’s finale, Tony Vlachos became the second person to win twice after Sandra Diaz-Twine.
Are you going through “Survivor” withdrawals during this annoying hiatus? Let us know how you’re coping down in the comments section.