Probst discusses 7-day celebrity Survivor, solicits contestant ideas

Jeff Probst appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, and floated the idea of a week-long celebrity edition of Survivor, and it sounded like a concept he wasn’t just making up while he talked. And he’s now actively soliciting ideas and recruiting celebrities, including Neil Patrick Harris and Ryan Seacrest.

Last night, Jimmy Fallon, who said he was a massive fan of the show (even though he later said something about Russell Hantz winning), praised Probst’s hosting and asked him to sign on for another year.

Jeff said, “I’ll make a deal with you, because you’re putting me on the spot to re-up, I’ll re-up if you will agree to be part of a crew to do a seven-day celebrity Survivor.”

Jimmy Fallon replied, “Let’s talk about it after the show,” and added, “I don’t know if I could do seven days.” Probst counter-offered: “How about this: Seven days, and for one hour a day, you can be in communication with your fans. You can tweet, you can talk about it, whatever, and then it’s back to Survivor.”

Later, on Twitter and Facebook, Jeff solicited ideas for participants besides Fallon and Neil Patrick Harris (who’s also a fan), and later wrote “maybe we can make this happen.” And he seems serious, writing, “If we can get a handful of great celebs I think we could pull it off!”

I’m in favor of a celebrity edition, but only if it’s modeled after Celebrity Apprentice, which is to say that it maintains the core experience of the original. Letting celebrity cast members use Twitter for an hour a day, never mind abbreviating the experience to just one week, seem to both detract from the true experience. But it may not be possible to get celebrities to agree to 39 days. Maybe 15? But no phones, or else it gets too close to becoming that I’m a Celebrity trainwreck.

Watch the entire segment with Probst on Late Night, including Probst’s sweater erection:

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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.