Survivor (U.S. TV series)

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Survivor
400px-Survivor.borneo.logo.png
Genre Reality competition
Created by Charlie Parsons
Presented by Jeff Probst
Starring Survivor contestants
Theme music composer Russ Landau (2000–13)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 28
No. of episodes 421
Production
Executive producer(s) Charlie Parsons
Mark Burnett
Jeff Probst
David Burris
Running time 43 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format 480i (SDTV) (2000–08)
1080i (HDTV) (2008–present)
Original run May 31, 2000 (2000-05-31) – present
Chronology
Related shows Expedition Robinson
International versions
External links
Website

Survivor is the American version of the Survivor reality game show, itself derived from the Swedish television series Expedition Robinson originally created in 1997 by Charlie Parsons. The series premiered on May 31, 2000, on CBS. It is hosted by television personality Jeff Probst, who is also an executive producer, and also executive produced by Mark Burnett and original creator, Charlie Parsons.

The show maroons a group of strangers (as one or more tribes) in a desolate locale, where they must provide food, water, fire, and shelter for themselves, while competing in challenges to earn either a reward, or an immunity from expulsion from the game in the next of the successive votes for elimination. While much less common than elimination by vote, medical conditions, such as injury or infection, have eliminated several contestants. The last two or three survivors face a jury composed of the last seven, eight, or nine players voted off. That jury interrogates the final few, and then votes for the winner of the game, the title of Sole Survivor and a million dollar prize.

The American version has been very successful. From the 2000–01 through the 2005–06 television seasons its first eleven seasons (competitions) rated amongst the top ten most watched shows. It is commonly considered the leader of American reality TV because it was the first highly rated and profitable reality show on broadcast television in the U.S., and is considered one of the best shows of the 2000s (decade).123 The series has been nominated for several Emmy Awards, including winning for Outstanding Sound Mixing in 2001, Outstanding Special Class Program in 2002, and was subsequently nominated four times for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program when the category was introduced in 2003. Jeff Probst has won the award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program four consecutive times since the award was introduced in 2008. In 2007, the series was included in Time magazine's list of the 100 greatest TV shows of all-time.4

The most recent season, Survivor: Cagayan (season 28), premiered on February 26, 2014.5 The series was renewed for seasons 29 and 30, to air during the 2014–15 television season.6

Format and rules

The first U.S. season of Survivor followed the same general format as the Swedish series. Sixteen or more players are split between two or more "tribes", are taken to a remote isolated location (usually in a tropical climate) and are forced to live off the land with meager supplies for roughly a month. Frequent physical challenges are used to pit the teams against each other for rewards, such as food or luxuries, or for "immunity", forcing the other tribe to attend "Tribal Council", where they must vote off one of their players. Once about half the players are remaining, the tribes are merged into a single tribe, and competitions are on an individual basis; winning immunity prevents that player from being voted out, while several that are voted out at this stage form the game's "jury". Once down to two or three people, a final Tribal Council is held where the remaining players plead their case to the jury members. The jury then votes for which player should be considered the "Sole Survivor" and win the show's prize. In all seasons for the United States version, this has included a $1 million prize in addition to the Sole Survivor title; some seasons have included additional prizes such as a car.

The U.S. version has introduced numerous modifications, or "twists", on the core rules in order to keep the players on their toes and to prevent players from relying on strategies that succeeded in prior seasons. These changes have included tribal switches, seasons starting with more than two tribes, the ability to exile a player from a tribe for a short time, hidden immunity idols that players can use to save themselves at Tribal Council and a chance to return to regular gameplay after elimination through "Redemption Island".

Series overview

The United States version is produced by Mark Burnett and hosted by Jeff Probst. Each competition is called a season, has a unique name, and lasts from 13 to 16 episodes. The first season was broadcast as a summer replacement show in 2000. Starting with Survivor: Africa, there have been two seasons aired during each U.S. television season.

In the first season there was a 75-person crew. By season 22 the crew had grown to 325 people.7

List of Survivor (U.S.) seasons
No. Name Location Original tribes Winner Runner(s)-up Final vote Notes
1 Survivor: Borneo Pulau Tiga, Sabah, Malaysia Two tribes of eight Richard Hatch Kelly Wiglesworth 4–3 The only season to have the winner revealed on location rather than live and in the U.S.
2 Survivor: The Australian Outback Herbert River at Goshen Station, Queensland, Australia Tina Wesson Colby Donaldson 4–3 First season to be filmed for more than 39 days, running 42 days
3 Survivor: Africa Shaba National Reserve, Kenya8 Ethan Zohn Kim Johnson 5–2 The first season to feature a tribal swap
4 Survivor: Marquesas Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia Vecepia Towery Neleh Dennis 4–3
5 Survivor: Thailand Ko Tarutao, Satun Province, Thailand Two tribes of eight picked by the two oldest players, Jake and Jan Brian Heidik Clay Jordan 4–3 First season to have the game merge with less than 10 contestants.
6 Survivor: The Amazon Rio Negro, Amazonas, Brazil Two tribes of eight divided by gender Jenna Morasca Matthew Von Ertfelda 6–1
7 Survivor: Pearl Islands Pearl Islands, Panama Two tribes of eight Sandra Diaz-Twine Lillian Morris 6–1 Featured the Outcast Tribe twist; first season to have two contestants re-enter the game
8 Survivor: All-Stars Three tribes of six returning players Amber Brkich Rob Mariano 4–3 The first time a season began with 3 individual tribes; first season to begin with 18 contestants; first time that former castaways returned
9 Survivor: Vanuatu Efate, Shefa Province, Vanuatu Two tribes of nine divided by gender Chris Daugherty Twila Tanner 5–2
10 Survivor: Palau Koror, Palau A schoolyard pick of two tribes of nine; two eliminated without a tribe Tom Westman Katie Gallagher 6–1 First season to begin with 20 players; introduced Exile island
11 Survivor: Guatemala Laguna Yaxhá, Yaxhá-Nakúm-Naranjo National Park, Petén, Guatemala Two tribes of nine, including two returning players Danni Boatwright Stephenie LaGrossa 6–1 Introduced the hidden immunity idol. First season to have returning contestants compete against new contestants.
12 Survivor: Panama Pearl Islands, Panama Four tribes of four divided by age and gender Aras Baskauskas Danielle DiLorenzo 5–2 The first time a season began with four tribes, first time tribes divided by age
13 Survivor: Cook Islands Aitutaki, Cook Islands, New Zealand Four tribes of five divided by ethnicity: African Americans, Whites, Hispanics, and Asians Yul Kwon Ozzy Lusth Becky Lee 5–4–0 First season to feature three contestants in the finals, instead of two. First season to feature nine jurors instead of seven. Featured the mutiny twist.
14 Survivor: Fiji Macuata, Vanua Levu, Fiji Two tribes of nine divided by a selected castaway, who would join the tribe who lost the first challenge Earl Cole Cassandra Franklin & Dre "Dreamz" Herd 9–0–0 Only season to have an odd number of contestants.
15 Survivor: China Zhelin, Jiujiang, Jiangxi, China Two tribes of eight Todd Herzog Courtney Yates Amanda Kimmel 4–2–1 Introduced a twist involving kidnapping players from the opposing tribe
16 Survivor: Micronesia Koror, Palau Two tribes of ten: new players against past contestants Parvati Shallow Amanda Kimmel 5–3 First season to feature a tribe of new players, "Fans", facing off against a tribe of returning players, "Favorites".
17 Survivor: Gabon Wonga-Wongue Presidential Reserve, Estuaire, Gabon A schoolyard pick of two tribes of nine, starting with the oldest players, Bob & Gillian Robert "Bob" Crowley Susie Smith Jessica "Sugar" Kiper 4–3–0 First season to feature two mandatory tribal switches; first time the show was shot and aired in HD9
18 Survivor: Tocantins Jalapão, Tocantins, Brazil Two tribes of eight James "J.T." Thomas Jr. Stephen Fishbach 7–0
19 Survivor: Samoa Upolu, Samoa Two tribes of ten Natalie White Russell Hantz Mick Trimming 7–2–0 First season to feature tribe leaders; a member of the winning tribe would accompanying the losing tribe back to their camp. First season to have a merge with more than 10 contestants.
20 Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Two tribes of ten returning players, divided by "hero" or "villain" status Sandra Diaz-Twine Parvati Shallow Russell Hantz 6–3–0
21 Survivor: Nicaragua San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua10 Two tribes of ten divided by age Jud "Fabio" Birza Chase Rice Matthew "Sash" Lenahan 5–4–0 Featured the Medallion of Power
22 Survivor: Redemption Island Two tribes of nine, including two returning players Rob Mariano Phillip Sheppard Natalie Tenerelli 8–1–0 Introduced Redemption Island
23 Survivor: South Pacific Upolu, Samoa Sophie Clarke Benjamin "Coach" Wade Albert Destrade 6–3–0
24 Survivor: One World Two tribes of nine divided by gender Kim Spradlin Sabrina Thompson Chelsea Meissner 7–2–0 Both tribes lived on the same beach as two separate tribes from the onset
25 Survivor: Philippines Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Philippines Three tribes of six, including three returning players who had been medically evacuated in a previous season Denise Stapley Lisa Whelchel & Michael Skupin 6–1–1
26 Survivor: Caramoan Two tribes of ten: new players against past contestants John Cochran Dawn Meehan & Sherri Biethman 8–0–0
27 Survivor: Blood vs. Water Palaui Island, Santa Ana, Cagayan, Philippines11 Two tribes of ten: returning contestants against their loved ones12 Tyson Apostol Monica Culpepper Gervase Peterson 7–1–0 Introduced the ability to swap places with a loved one on Redemption Island.
28 Survivor: Cagayan Three tribes of six divided by primary attribute: "brawn" vs. "brains" vs. "beauty"13 TBA TBA TBA TBA

Locations

The American version of Survivor has been shot in many locations around the world since the first season, usually favoring warm and tropical climates.

Continent Locations (season number)
Africa Kenya (3), Gabon (17)
Asia Malaysia (1), Thailand (5), China (15), Philippines (25, 26, 27, 28)
Oceania Australia (2), French Polynesia (4), Vanuatu (9), Palau (10, 16), Cook Islands (13), Fiji (14), Samoa (19, 20, 23, 24)
North America Panama (7, 8, 12), Guatemala (11), Nicaragua (21, 22)
South America Brazil (6, 18)

Since "The Australian Outback", the announcement of each season's winner and subsequent reunion have been broadcast live in front of a studio audience, usually alternating between the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City (home to CBS' Late Show with David Letterman) and CBS Television City or the CBS Studio Center in Los Angeles.

U.S. television ratings

Survivor has consistently been one of the top 20 most watched shows through its first 18 seasons and from seasons 21 to 23.14

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of the United States version of Survivor on CBS.

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.

Season Timeslot (ET) Premiered Ended TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale
viewers
(in millions)
Reunion
viewers
(in millions)
Survivor: Borneo Wednesday 8:00 pm May 31, 200015 15.51 August 23, 2000 51.6915 36.7016 2000 #2 28.3017
Survivor: The Australian Outback Thursday
8:00 pm
January 28, 200118 45.371 May 3, 200119 36.35 28.01 2000–01 #1 29.8020
Survivor: Africa October 11, 200121 23.84 January 10, 200222 27.26 19.05 2001–02 #8 20.6923
Survivor: Marquesas February 28, 200224 23.19 May 19, 200225 25.87 17.89 #6 20.7726
Survivor: Thailand September 19, 200227 23.05 December 19, 200228 24.08 20.43 2002–03 #4 21.2129
Survivor: The Amazon February 13, 200330 23.26 May 11, 200331 22.29 17.65 #9 19.9729
Survivor: Pearl Islands September 18, 200332 21.50 December 14, 200333 25.23 21.87 2003–04 #7 20.7234
Survivor: All-Stars February 1, 200435 33.531 May 9, 200436 24.76 23.92 #3 21.4937
Survivor: Vanuatu September 16, 200438 20.06 December 12, 200439 19.72 15.23 2004–05 #10 19.6440
Survivor: Palau February 17, 200540 23.66 May 15, 200541 20.80 15.48 #5 20.9142
Survivor: Guatemala September 15, 200543 18.41 December 11, 200544 21.18 15.21 2005–06 #845 18.3042
Survivor: Panama February 2, 200646 19.20 May 14, 2006 17.07 11.65 #1145 16.8247
Survivor: Cook Islands September 14, 200648 18.00 December 17, 2006 16.42 13.53 2006–07 #13 15.7549
Survivor: Fiji February 8, 200750 16.68 May 13, 2007 13.63 11.43 #15 14.8349
Survivor: China September 20, 200751 15.35 December 16, 2007 15.10 12.22 2007–08 #8 15.1852
Survivor: Micronesia February 7, 200853 14.02 May 11, 2008 12.92 10.84 #11 13.6152
Survivor: Gabon September 25, 2008 13.0554 December 14, 2008 13.77 11.74 2008–09 #15 13.8155
Survivor: Tocantins February 12, 2009 13.6356 May 17, 2009 12.9457 11.5957 #19 12.8655
Survivor: Samoa September 17, 200958 11.6659 December 20, 2009 13.9760 11.6860 2009–10 #17 12.3461
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains February 11, 201062 14.1563 May 16, 2010 13.4664 10.6564 #14 12.6061
Survivor: Nicaragua Wednesday
8:00 pm
September 15, 201065 12.2366 December 19, 2010 13.5867 11.1967 2010–11 #11 13.6168
Survivor: Redemption Island February 16, 2011 11.1769 May 15, 2011 13.3070 10.9770 #18 12.5968
Survivor: South Pacific September 14, 201171 10.7472 December 18, 2011 13.0773 9.9273 2011–12 #18 12.7774
Survivor: One World February 15, 2012 10.7975 May 13, 2012 10.3476 7.7276 #26 11.6474
Survivor: Philippines September 19, 201277 11.3778 December 16, 2012 11.4679 8.7780 2012–13 #21 11.8581
Survivor: Caramoan February 13, 2013 8.9482 May 12, 2013 10.1683 8.1383 #28 10.8281
Survivor: Blood vs. Water September 18, 2013 9.7384 December 15, 2013 10.1985 7.4685 2013–14 TBA TBA
Survivor: Cagayan February 26, 2014 9.4086 May 21, 2014 TBA TBA TBA TBA

^1 The season premieres of Survivor: The Australian Outback and Survivor: All-Stars each aired after a Super Bowl. Survivor seasons (competitions) broadcast in winter/spring have had episodes moved to Wednesdays at 8:00 pm to avoid conflicts with broadcasts of the first two weeks of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. For Survivor: Marquesas and every competition between with Survivor: The Amazon and Survivor: Blood vs. Water, the finale was broadcast Sunday at 8:00 pm. For Survivor: Cagayan the two-hour finale and live reunion will air in its Wednesday time slot, marking only the second time the show's finale has aired on a Wednesday, following Survivor: Borneo.

Awards and nominations

Primetime Emmy Awards

Year Category Nominee/Episode Result
2001 Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class) Won
2001 Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Non-Fiction Program For episode "#1" Won
2001 Outstanding Cinematography for Non-Fiction Programming "A Honeymoon Or Not" Nominated
2001 Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Russ Landau Nominated
2001 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming "Trial By Fire" Nominated
2001 Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special "Survivor: The Reunion (#1.14)" Nominated
2002 Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) for VMC Programming "Finale and the Reunion" Nominated
2002 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Two Peas in a Pod" Nominated
2002 Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Series "Finale and the Reunion" Nominated
2003 Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program Nominated
2003 Outstanding Cinematography for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "The Importance Of Being Earnest" Nominated
2003 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "More Than Meats The Eye" Nominated
2003 Outstanding Reality/Competition Program Nominated
2004 Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Beg, Barter And Steal" Nominated
2004 Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Swimming With Sharks" Nominated
2004 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Shark Attack" Nominated
2004 Outstanding Reality/Competition Program Nominated
2004 Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "They're Back" Nominated
2005 Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "This Has Never Happened Before" Nominated
2005 Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "This Has Never Happened Before" Nominated
2005 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Culture Shock and Violent Storms" Nominated
2005 Outstanding Reality/Competition Program Nominated
2005 Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Love is in the Air, Rats are Everywhere" Nominated
2006 Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise" Nominated
2006 Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Starvation & Lunacy" Nominated
2006 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Salvation And Desertion" Nominated
2006 Outstanding Reality/Competition Program Nominated
2006 Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise" Nominated
2006 Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise" Nominated
2007 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "An Evil Thought" Nominated
2008 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "He's A Ball Of Goo!" Nominated
2008 Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Jeff Probst Won
2008 Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "Just Don't Eat The Apple" Nominated
2009 Outstanding Sound Mixing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "The Poison Apple Needs To Go" Nominated
2009 Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Jeff Probst Won
2009 Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "The Camp Is Cursed" Nominated
2010 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Tonight, We Make Our Move" Nominated
2010 Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Jeff Probst Won
2010 Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "Slay Everyone, Trust No One" Won
2011 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Don't You Work For Me?" Nominated
2011 Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Jeff Probst Won
2011 Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "Rice Wars" Nominated
2012 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Cult-Like" Nominated
2012 Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "Running the Show" Nominated

Post-show auctions

At the end of each U.S. Survivor season from Survivor: Africa onward, various Survivor props and memorabilia are auctioned online for charity. The most common recipient has been the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.87 Most recently, proceeds have gone toward The Serpentine Project, a charity founded by Jeff Probst, dedicated to helping those transitioning out of foster care upon emancipation at eighteen years of age.88 Items up for auction have included flags, mats, tree mails, contestant torches, contestant clothing, autographed items, immunity idols and the voting urn.89

Controversies and legal action

  • In February 2001, Stacey Stillman filed a lawsuit claiming that producers interfered in the process of Survivor: Borneo by persuading two members of her tribe (Sean Kenniff and Dirk Been) to vote her off instead of Rudy Boesch.
  • During a reward trip on Survivor: The Australian Outback, Colby Donaldson removed corals from the Great Barrier Reef and in the same trip, a helicopter involved with the production crew flew around protected sea bird rookeries. Both acts violated Australian law and the incidents could have resulted in fines up to A$110,000. Mark Burnett, the executive producer, issued an apology on behalf of Donaldson and the Survivor production team.90
  • At the tribal immunity challenge for the final four players on Survivor: Africa, host Jeff Probst asked which female player in their season had no piercings. Kim Johnson answered Kelly Goldsmith, got the point, and went on to win the challenge, which put her through to the final three and ultimately (after winning another immunity challenge) the final two. Unbeknownst to the producers, another contestant on "Africa", Lindsey Richter, also had no piercings. Lex van den Berghe's answer had been Lindsey, but the show did not award him a point, which could have significantly changed the outcome of the challenge and the overall game. CBS later paid van den Berghe and Tom Buchanan, who had finished in fourth place, a settlement.91
  • In an attempt to win a reward challenge on Survivor: Pearl Islands, contestant Jon Dalton conspired with his friend, Dan Fields, before the show even started, in what Probst has described as the greatest lie on Survivor to date. Fields told Dalton that his grandmother, Jean Cooke, had died, in order to win sympathy from his tribemates and subsequently win the reward. In reality, Cooke had not died, a fact that only emerged to his tribemates once the episode had aired. After the challenge, Dalton admitted in a confessional that his grandmother was alive and "probably watching Jerry Springer right now". When the show's producers learned of Cooke's alleged death, they called Dalton's family to offer their condolences, only to have Cooke herself answer the phone. On the "Pearl Islands" reunion show, Probst had a short interview with Cooke, who was indeed alive and well.92
  • In the fifth episode of Survivor: All-Stars, a naked Richard Hatch came into contact with Sue Hawk after she blocked his path during an immunity challenge. Hatch was voted out that day for other reasons, but Hawk quit the game two days later as a result of what had happened. Hawk considered filing a lawsuit against the parties involved, but appeared with Hatch on The Early Show the morning after the sixth episode aired, stating she opted out of legal action because CBS had helped her "deal with the situation".93
  • Rupert Boneham, a contestant on Pearl Islands and All-Stars, was extremely popular with television audiences, but finished eighth and fourth, respectively, in his appearances on the show. As part of a special on the All-Stars reunion (Survivor: America's Tribal Council), a contest for the 18 players was created, where the winner would be selected by the viewing audience to receive a $1 million prize. Boneham unsurprisingly won this prize, with more than 80% of the votes cast. Many fans of the show saw this as a way of diluting the overall concept of the show, that instead of outwitting, outplaying and outlasting your fellow tribe members to win the game, a player could now play specifically just to gain popularity with the show's audience, regardless of how well they played the game, and still be rewarded with a large prize.94
  • In January 2006, Richard Hatch, the winner of the first season of Survivor, was charged and found guilty of failing to report his winnings to the IRS to avoid taxes. He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison.95
  • In the beginning of Survivor: Cook Islands, the tribes were grouped according to their race. Probst claimed the choice came from the criticism that Survivor was "not ethnically diverse enough",96 but several long-term sponsors, including Campbell's Soup, Procter & Gamble, Home Depot, Coca Cola, and General Motors97 dropped their support of the show shortly after this announcement, leading to speculation that the decisions were in response to the controversy. Each company has either denied the link to the controversy or declined to comment, although the decision for General Motors to discontinue their sponsorship had been made months prior to the announcement of the racial split, and was thus purely coincidental.98
  • The selection process for the 14th season came under fire when it was revealed that, of the entire Survivor: Fiji cast, only Gary Stritesky had gone through the application process for the show; the rest of the contestants were recruited.99 Probst defended the process, citing finding diversity of cast as a reason.
  • At the Survivor: China reunion show, Denise Martin told producers and the audience that she had been demoted to a janitor from a lunch lady due to the distraction she was to students from her appearance on the show. Because of her misfortune, Burnett awarded Martin $50,000. But Martin would later recant her story after the school district she worked for publicly stated that she had taken the custodial position before appearing on the show.100 Martin then decided to donate the $50,000 to charity.101
  • A brief uncensored shot of Marcus Lehman's genitals during the premiere episode of Survivor: Gabon led to the show and network being asked to apologize for the incident.102
  • Jim Early (aka Missyae), who was a user on one of the fan forums for Survivor, was sued by Burnett, his production company, and CBS in August 2010, for allegedly releasing detailed spoiler information for Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Early revealed that he was getting his information from Russell Hantz, a contestant on both seasons, through both phone calls and emails. Early complied in the lawsuit by providing such evidence, eventually leading to its dismissal in January 2011. Although legal action has yet to be taken against Hantz, the contract for a player in Survivor includes a liability of up to $5 million for the premature revealing of a season's results.103 Hantz has stated that the claim is false.104
  • Contestants that did not make the jury in Survivor: Caramoan were not allowed on stage for the reunion show. While Jeff Probst claimed that the new stage could not accommodate all 18 of the attending contestants, the format change was panned because the show's fans and fellow contestants felt that it was unfair for them to be left out in the audience. Erik Reichenbach, who finished 5th and did not even get a chance to speak at the reunion, called out the producers for their treatment of the contestants. Calling it a farce, he criticized how the reunion show left so many unanswered questions about the other contestants and his own evacuation during the season finale. He also criticized how the pre-jury members were completely left out in favor of featuring the show's former contestants, like Rob Mariano and Rudy Boesch.105

Merchandise

The wild success of Survivor spawned a wide range of merchandise from the very first season. While early items available were limited to buffs, water bottles, hats, t-shirts, and other typical souvenir items, the marketability of the franchise has grown tremendously. Today, fans can find innumerable items, including computer and board games, interactive online games, mugs, tribal-themed jewelry, beach towels, dog tags, magnets, multi-function tools, DVD seasons, Survivor party kits, insider books, soundtracks, and more.

DVD releases

Best of
DVD name Release date
Season One: The Greatest and Most Outrageous Moments January 9, 2001
Season Two: The Greatest and Most Outrageous Moments September 25, 2001
Full seasons

Seasons 1, 2, 7, 8, 9 and 10 were released in stores. The remaining seasons have been released exclusively on Amazon.com through their CreateSpace manufacture on demand program.

DVD name Release date
The Complete First Season: Borneo May 11, 2004
The Complete Second Season: The Australian Outback April 26, 2005
The Complete Third Season: Africa October 5, 2010
The Complete Fourth Season: Marquesas October 5, 2010
The Complete Fifth Season: Thailand October 25, 2011
The Complete Sixth Season: The Amazon November 22, 2011
The Complete Seventh Season: Pearl Islands February 7, 2006
The Complete Eighth Season: All-Stars September 14, 2004
The Complete Ninth Season: Vanuatu – Islands of Fire December 5, 2006
The Complete Tenth Season: Palau August 29, 2006
The Complete Eleventh Season: Guatemala – The Maya Empire May 22, 2012
The Complete Twelfth Season: Panama – Exile Island May 22, 2012
The Complete Thirteenth Season: Cook Islands December 11, 2012
The Complete Fourteenth Season: Fiji December 11, 2012
The Complete Fifteenth Season: China January 27, 2014
The Complete Sixteenth Season: Micronesia - Fans vs. Favorites January 31, 2014
The Complete Twentieth Season: Heroes vs. Villains February 22, 2011
Complete seasons on iTunes
Currently available
Season 9: Vanuatu – Islands of Fire
Season 10: Palau
Season 11: Guatemala – The Maya Empire
Season 12: Panama – Exile Island
Season 13: Cook Islands
Season 14: Fiji
Season 15: China
Season 16: Micronesia – Fans vs. Favorites
Season 17: Gabon – Earth's Last Eden
Season 18: Tocantins – The Brazilian Highlands
Season 19: Samoa
Season 20: Heroes vs. Villains
Season 21: Nicaragua
Season 22: Redemption Island
Season 23: South Pacific
Season 24: One World
Season 25: Philippines
Season 26: Caramoan
Season 27: Blood vs. Water

Other media

Video games

In the 2001 Survivor video game for PC, developed by Infogrames, it allows players to play and create characters for the game based on the Pulau Tiga or Australian Outback cast members. The game also includes a character creation system for making custom characters.

Gameplay consists of choosing survivors' skills (fishing, cooking, etc.), forming alliances, developing relationships with other tribe members, and voting off competitors at tribal council.

The game was very poorly received by critics. GameSpot gave the game a 'Terrible' score of 2.0 out of 10, saying "If you're harboring even a tiny urge to buy this game, please listen very carefully to this advice: Don't do it."106 Likewise, IGN gave the game a 'Terrible' 2.4 out of 10, stating "It is horribly boring and repetitive. The graphics are weak and even the greatest Survivor fan would break the CD in two after playing it for 20 minutes."107 The game was the recipient of Game Revolution's lowest score of all time, an F-.108 An 'interactive review' was created specially for the game, and features interactive comments like "The Survival periods are about as much fun as" followed by a drop-down menu, "watching paint dry/throbbing hemorrhoids/staring at air/being buried alive."108

On November 4, 2009, it was announced that a second game based on the show would be turned into a video game. The game would require players to participate in various challenges like those in the reality shows in order to win.109

In late 2013, former Survivor: Micronesia and Caramoan contestant Erik Reichenbach launched a Kickstarter campaign for a Survivor styled online mobile app called "Islands of Chaos". It pits players from all over the world in a battle of challenges and strategy to be the last one standing. If the campaign is successful, the plan is to release the game free of charge on a range of platforms including on Apple and Android devices.110

Soundtracks

Various soundtracks have been released featuring music composed by Russ Landau, including soundtracks for seasons 9 through 27 (with the exception of season 14).111

Thrill ride

The Tiki Twirl thrill ride at California's Great America in Santa Clara, California was originally called Survivor: The Ride. The ride includes a rotating platform that moves along an undulating track. Riders can be sprayed by water guns hidden in oversized tribal masks. Theme elements included drums and other familiar Survivor musical accents playing in the background, Survivor memorabilia throughout the queue line and other merchandise for sale in nearby gift shops.112

See also

References

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External links