Mark Burnett: “no decisions have been made” about Survivor 20, but it will be “really cool”

The 20th season of Survivor, long rumored to be some kind of all-star season (not again, ugh!) has not yet locked down its twists and creative direction, according to a recent interview with executive producer Mark Burnett.

Regarding the 20th season, which Jeff Probst confirmed to me will shoot immediately after season 19, Burnett told The Hollywood Reporter, “There’s so much being discussed. No decisions have been made. Clearly it’s 10 years (and) 20 seasons. We’ll do something really cool but we certainly won’t be making any big format changes.”

Not made creative decisions yet? With plans for 20 to be in production in August, they’d better hurry up. Then again, they may have already made those decisions. For one, Burnett was known, at least in the early years, to lie about his show to throw people off, but more significantly, the Tuesday article also said he was interviewed in the South Pacific, so the conversation obviously occurred earlier, since he was in Los Angeles Wednesday for his Walk of Fame star ceremony.

Burnett also talked about his upcoming ABC series Shark Tank (“an extremely high-quality (show)” that “feels like (it) belongs up there with great dramas”), and discussed reviving the original Apprentice. While Donald Trump said the celebrity and original editions could air simultaneously, Burnett said “we could alternate seasons with it” but says they’re not really focused on the regular edition: “Celebrity Apprentice has done so well, there’s no way we’re going to move off that right now. Only a fool would chance success.”

By the way, The Hollywood Reporter’s piece says reporter James Hibberd talked to Burnett while Burnett was in “an undisclosed location in the South Pacific where the 19th season of ‘Survivor’ is being filmed.” Besides that being public information since March, and officially revealed in May, there was even a recent press release naming the 19th season’s location, so you’d think it wouldn’t have been easy to avoid such information. Consider yourself warned, people at trade papers, but that super top-secret place is–SPOILER ALERT–Samoa.

Q&A: Mark Burnett [Hollywood Reporter]

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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.