Survivor will return to Panama for Survivor 12, the third season to be filmed there

About one week ago today, on either Nov. 1 or Oct. 31, Survivor 12 began production. And the show is being filmed in a very familiar location: Panama.

Specifically, reality blurred has confirmed with several sources, the show will return to the exact same islands that were used for Survivor All-Stars. The show also taped in Panama for Survivor Pearl Islands, the seventh season.

Why return to the same location, which Mark Burnett refers to as “the 17th character,” and risk alienating or boring viewers? Reports suggest that Burnett actually purchased one of the islands, which he previously referred to as “the perfect tropical island” and “the best spot we have visited.”

The exact title for the new series is unknown, but since the previous Panama-set seasons were titled “Pearl Islands” and “All-Stars,” perhaps this season will be known simply as Survivor Panama. We’ll know for sure on December 11, when the finale of Survivor Guatemala airs.

While SurvivorMaps’ Dan Bollinger has yet to officially name Panama as the location, he has produced a temporary map, which is not yet linked on his site, identifying the Tribal Council locations and challenge beaches as the same two islands used during the all-stars season. However, the tribes will apparently live on islands that weren’t featured on earlier seasons.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.