Survivor will finally be shot in high definition starting with its 17th season, which tapes this summer.
“CBS announced the production upgrade at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas on Sunday,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “‘Survivor’ uses about 20 cameras, with some for shooting underwater and from helicopters.”
Just over a year ago, a CBS exec said that HD was too “delicate”, but The Hollywood Reporter notes that “HD camera reliability has improved greatly, and the cost has become more comparable to standard-definition equipment,” although “the cost of upgrading an elaborate on-location production like ‘Survivor’ to HD is higher than a studio-based series like ‘Idol’ or ‘Dancing,'” both of which are shot in HD. The paper notes that “CBS has not announced plans to upgrade” The Amazing Race, but this “should be an encouraging sign for ‘Race’ fans.”
At the start of this season, Jeff Probst told reporters, “we’re still debating about HD and the cost. … I think it’s a matter of CBS saying we’re going to do it, and here’s the money.” He also said that he isn’t looking forward to the transition. “Personally, I don’t mind if we don’t shoot in HD for a while. I’ve seen what I look like in HD; not too flattering.”