For the first time in two decades, “Survivor” didn’t air any new episodes in the fall. That’s because of the coronavirus pandemic, which wreaked havoc on TV and film productions worldwide. Season 41 of CBS’s reality TV juggernaut originally planned a September 2020 premiere date, but that was scrapped when Jeff Probst and co. weren’t able to travel to Fiji due to safety restrictions. Fear not, “Survivor” fans, the new season will still air … eventually. In the meantime, viewers are keeping themselves entertained during this annoying hiatus by watching old episodes on DVD and streaming services.
Here’s everything to know so far about the upcoming season of “Survivor 41.” Bookmark this page as we’ll be updating when new information is revealed.
It has not yet been filmed
Typically “Survivor” films two seasons back-to-back in early summer, then airs them in the fall of that year and the following spring. (For example, Seasons 39 and 40 filmed between March and June of 2019, and debuted in September 2019 and February 2020, respectively). Due to COVID-19, production unfortunately could not travel to film Seasons 41 and 42. “The situation is unprecedented and we are learning more information every day. It is out of concern for the well-being of all of you that we have taken this step,” Probst explained about the show’s hiatus.
Production for this 41st season has now been pushed back to Spring 2021, per Inside Survivor. The reason? Fiji’s borders remain closed due to the virus. CBS’s new goal is to film the next two installments back-to-back in early 2021. If this happens, you can expect to see the episodes air on television in Fall 2021 (for Season 41) and Spring 2022 (for Season 42). Stay tuned.
The cast has already been chosen
All of the contestants for “Survivor 41” had already been selected prior to production being shut down. They were officially cast in February 2020 with protocols being put into place so they’d be tested for coronavirus upon their arrival in Fiji, and then put into quarantine for the CDC-recommended time span of 14 days. It’s assumed that the cast would be made up of entirely new players, as the past season, “Winners at War,” memorably welcomed back 20 returning champions. UPDATE: Because of CBS’s new 50% diversity mandate, there’s a strong possibility some of the Season 41 contestants will be re-cast ahead of filming.
Probst is back — duh
Yep, “Survivor’s” host with the most Probst will obviously return as host/showrunner of Season 41. Why wouldn’t he? The 59-year-old has appeared in all 596 episodes so far, winning four Emmy Awards for his hosting abilities (2008-2011).
What’s with the teenager rumors?
During the finale of “Winners at War,” Probst put a call out to teenagers to apply for a future edition of the show. It’s likely this was going to be the plan for Season 42 or Season 43, as the cast of Season 41 had already been finalized before he made the announcement. “You should apply, especially if you’re young,” Probst said at the remote reunion shortly after declaring Tony Vlachos the winner. “I’m talking teenagers — 16, 17, 18, 19. Do it. Cool parents and a cool school? Who knows. It could happen.”
Fiji, Fiji, Fiji
As mentioned above, Mamanuca Islands, Fiji will once again be the location of “Survivor 41” … and presumably all future cycles. After 16 years of globe-trotting and exploring, the show officially moved to this locale in the South Pacific Ocean in Season 33 (“Millennials vs. Gen X”). “I hope we stay here forever,” Probst declared in 2017 while praising Fiji’s clear water, beautiful beaches and friendly government.
“The Amazing Race” inherited time slot
For much of its 20-year run, “Survivor” could be found in CBS’s Wednesdays-at-8pm timeslot. Well, with “Survivor” unable to produce new episodes, that time slot was handed over to “The Amazing Race.” The globe-trotting series began airing its 32nd season in October. Production actually wrapped on these “TAR” episodes back in December 2018, nearly two years ahead of its premiere date. The show aired its finale on December 16, 2020.
“Survivor South Africa” finishes production
No, it’s not the American version, but it’ll have to do for fans craving more “Survivor.” This international season, dubbed “Survivor SA: Immunity Island,” concluded filming in December 2020 on the Wild Coast of South Africa under the strictest of Covid-19 guidelines. It will premiere on Thursday, June 3, 2021 with Nico Panagio returning as host.
In order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, aka the reason “Survivor” didn’t air the final week of September, CBS has created face masks featuring some of the show’s iconic logos. “100% of proceeds go directly to Feeding America to help with their COVID-19 relief efforts,” the network tweeted with a link to shop:
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) September 22, 2020