While Jeff Probst is signed through season 20 of Survivor, CBS has only officially renewed the series through season 18, which will be produced this fall and air next spring.
But CBS’ CEO, Les Moonves, told the New York Times that the show is “not going away anytime soon,” which means it will likely be renewed for two more seasons. Brian Stelter’s analysis in the Times illustrates that despite having “a 50 percent drop in viewership in the last eight years,” the series “remains No. 1 in its 8 p.m. Thursday time slot — a remarkable feat for any show — and continues to earn many tens of millions for the network.”
It also remains in the top 10 among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, meaning it is valuable to advertisers. The paper reports that “CBS charges $213,000 for a 30-second commercial” on Survivor Gabon, which is “up slightly compared with last year.” However, while it costs $2 million per episode/hour to produce, Jeff Probst pointed out that “The value of the dollar is making our budgets shrink because it’s worth less than it used to be.”
Overall, the series remains a success, in part because it’s lasted this long. Former CBS executive Kelly Kahl, who shocked everyone by moving the show to Thursday nights opposite Friends for its second season back in 2001, said “If you can find anyone who says they thought it would run for 16 seasons, I would probably call them a liar.”