The 20th season of Survivor will break with the show’s traditional shooting schedule and be filmed after Survivor Samoa finishes production this summer. The show’s casting director previously confirmed to me that casting for 19 and 20 was occurring simultaneously.
Typically, the fall season is shot in the summer, starting in mid- to late June, while the spring season is shot in the fall, starting around Halloween. But after two brutal back-to-back locations on different continents–one in remote Gabon and the other in the less remote but more physically punishing Brazil–the crew will produce two seasons with only a short break between them.
The season 20 set visit charity eBay auction–which went for $14,631–says it “will most likely be scheduled for mid-August,” meaning the 20th season will be in production then, long before it would typically start. In addition, host and producer Jeff Probst mentioned filming the seasons back-to-back in an interview with the New York Post about his new reality series Live for the Moment. He said he “can’t even start shooting ['Live for the Moment'] until the end of September, when I’m back from double duty on ‘Survivor.’ The earliest I could have episodes done would be January.”
With the 20th season being produced immediately after the 19th, will the show just stay in Samoa? Probably. The production has previously used the same general location in back-to-back seasons–Survivor Pearl Islands and Survivor All-Stars–and has even used the same islands, as Survivor Panama and all-stars shared some locations. And moving an 80 cargo container production to an entirely different location when taping back-to-back seasons would be difficult, although it’s probable the specific locations will change so the new season has a different look and feel.
As further evidence of the production staying in Samoa, the crew has taken over the Aggie Grey’s resort in Samoa as its base camp, as tourists bumped from the hotel revealed earlier this year. And reservations there aren’t available there until after Oct. 2, shortly after when the 20th season would probably wrap.