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No Survivor until 2021

No Survivor until 2021
Survivor: Winners at War's final four—Sarah Lacina, Michele Fitzgerald, Tony Vlachos, and Natalie Anderson—walking on the beach in Fiji on the season finale. They'll likely be the last Survivor contestants to walk there until 2021. (Image from Survivor via CBS)

Survivor 41 won’t be filmed until at least spring of 2021, according to a report, meaning that there will be at least a two-year gap in filming, and perhaps 16 months between the end of season 40 and premiere of season 41.

While other shows have found ways to go back into production—Love Island moved to a hotel in Las Vegas, for example—the hope was Survivor might be able to be filmed starting this month, but that has not happened.

Currently, Fiji—which gives Survivor a 45 percent rebate, meaning about half of its production costs are covered—has closed its international airport and is not allowing travel to the islands. Meanwhile, Australia, where many of Survivor’s crew members live, is now not allowing its residents to leave the country until at least Dec. 17.

Even if countries were open, they may not let in American producers and contestants, considering the United States continues to be an epicenter of the outbreak, thanks to our unwillingness to actually do what it takes to stop this (even though we could stop it in a month or two).

In July, CBS pulled Survivor off its fall schedule, and said producers “are continuing to work with officials in Fiji on the appropriate time to start production on its next edition, with health and safety matters the top priority for everyone involved.”

Without a new season this fall or spring, I wish CBS would re-air other seasons of Survivor in prime-time. But that’s unlikely, considering that they didn’t do anything this summer, despite Survivor: Borneo’s 20th anniversary.

When Survivor 41 and 42 will film in Fiji

Jeff Probst during the Survivor: Winners at War finale, "It All Boils Down to This."
Jeff Probst during the Survivor: Winners at War finale, “It All Boils Down to This.” (Image from Survivor via CBS)

Inside Survivor‘s Martin Holmes reported this week “that production is now postponed until spring 2021,” when the production would “be returning to its regular time-frame, albeit a year behind schedule, with the aim to film seasons 41 and 42 from April-July 2021 in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands.”

Holmes notes “that’s based on production being able to start in April,” which is anything but certain.

If Survivor does film a season that’s finished filming in early May, it’s likely that season would air on CBS in fall 2021, about 16 months after the finale of Survivor: Winners at War.

One of many factors that are keeping Survivor in its Fijian home instead of moving it elsewhere: “pre-production on season 41 started back in January through to early April, so many of the props and equipment are already in place,” Holmes reported.

In other words, everything from challenges to the Tribal Council set would have been left in various states of planning and actual construction, with money spent and resources used. Of course, those may have to be rebuilt or repaired if they’re not used until next spring, one year after Survivor originally intended to film season 41.

Season 41 will also be the first Survivor season to film with CBS’s new rules prohibiting “sexual harassment and impermissible biases” and establish procedures such as “new anti-harassment, unconscious bias and sensitivity training for cast, producers and production crew.”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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