Why Canadians (and non-Americans) can’t apply for Survivor

Although Canadians watch CBS’ version of Survivor, they cannot apply for the show. The cast application actually says, “You must be a United States citizen and live in the United States.” People in other countries might want to apply, too, but there’s something about Canada having to watch our version yet not being able to apply that seems particularly galling.

This periodically leads some Canadian fans to apply via the online casting call or otherwise desperately to get attention, as if the producers and network are just arbitrarily excluding Canadians as punishment for their free health care and annoyingly similar pennies. (I received one such plea just a few days ago.)

On his new web site, host Jeff Probst explains, in a Q&A, exactly why people of other nationalities are excluded, and it has to do with the rights to the series. The question is about South Africa, but applies to people from any other country, and the answer probably also explains why people outside the U.S. cannot even watch web content without faking their IP addresses:

“This is a very common question, and so many of you from all over the world asked the same question! The issue surrounds the ‘rights’ to the Survivor format. Mark Burnett/CBS only have the rights to do an American version of Survivor. This means you have to be an American citizen. As you noted, there are other countries, including South Africa that do their own version of Survivor. None of them as exciting as ours of course! By the way, we have several South Africans on our crew — good people!”

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.