from the archives: behind-the-scenes

The Last Alaskans

How The Last Alaskans stayed real

“It was a big risk for us. We just had to hope, but we really wanted to try to tell authentic stories.” That’s Animal Planet Media executive Keith Hoffman, talking about the network’s series The Last Alaskans, which is the most surprising and most spectacular reality television show I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s… continue reading


Behind the scenes of Survivor Gabon’s first episode

Watching the first episode of Survivor Gabon was weirder than I expected. In part that’s because watching three long days play out in 44 minutes was surreal, but also because we saw none of the strategizing. When we visited camp of the loser tribe, Fang, Michelle was essentially an outcast, and that was a full… continue reading


Survivor contestant contract: the waivers, agreements that cast members, families sign

Survivor has been on the air for 10 years as of today, and to date, 301 people have participated in the series as contestants. While casting has turned to recruiting to find participants, many people, from Canadians to teenagers, repeat applicants to first-timers, are still desperate to be cast. But in exchange for playing for… continue reading