CBS “high on” Survivor 20, Undercover Boss; Amazing Race, Big Brother “continue to succeed”

CBS’ entertainment president Nina Tassler said Saturday she’s “high on” both Undercover Boss, which will be launch after the Super Bowl, and the 20th season of Survivor. She also praised the network’s other reality series, though she didn’t mention Welcome to the Neighborhood.

When asked about Survivor Heroes vs. Villains launching before and then airing during the Olympics, she told TV critics that “we are so high on this season of Survivor that we think it’s certainly going to continue to do well in its time period.” She said, “They’re also different audience bases. So I think we’ll be fine.”

She also had praise for The Amazing Race, and said that the show will continue “as long as it continues to perform. … We had a great season this year, in particular. Bertram [Van Munster, the executive producer and co-creator,] is a magician.” She said that they “have never been a complacent production. They are always looking for new challenges.”

CBS decided to launch Undercover Boss after the Super Bowl because “We’re very high on the show. … We’ve seen five or six episodes of Undercover Boss by now, and there is a tone and a quality to the show that we felt was a great fit after the Super Bowl. It is aspirational. It is a feel-good program. … we
have a great project. We’re very high on it, and we think we’re going to launch another big-branded reality show. So that was the thinking.”

Tassler also said “the beauty of having a reality show like Race, like Survivor like Big Brother, these brands that continue to succeed, is because each cycle, when you go into the casting process, you really get an opportunity to almost reinvent yourself. So the combination of great casting, with Bertram finding wonderful, unique and unusual routes, I think just contributes to the longevity of the show.”

In other words, expect these shows to stick around for at least a few more 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.