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!”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.