CBS has announced that the next installment of SURVIVOR will premiere on Wednesday, February 13 at 8:00PM EST.
For the 26thseason, it will be a “Fans vs. Favorites” edition. SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN ISLANDS. For those that haven’t heard via internet spoiler alerts, there are 10 returning castaways. These are unconfirmed by CBS. The list is as follows:
Erik Reichenbach, Survivor Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites
Corinne Kaplan, Survivor Gabon
Brenda Lowe, Survivor Nicaragua
Andrea Boehlke, Survivor Redemption Island
Francesca Hogi, Survivor Redemption Island
Phillip Sheppard, Survivor Redemption Island
John Cochran, Survivor South Pacific
Brandon Hantz, Survivor South Pacific
Dawn Meehan, Survivor South Pacific
Malcolm Freberg, Survivor Philippines
Freberg will be the seventh player in the history of the franchise to play consecutive seasons.
This will be the second installment of returning players going up against superfans. The first was season 16 SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA. That season was a ratings hit (#11 overall). Longtime fans need not worry about seeing mind-numbing retreads such as “Boston” Rob Mariano or Pavarti Shallow returning for yet another season. (Thank you, Jesus!) The passage of nine seasons has given the producers an ample supply of castaways to choose from for a second edition. Host Jeff Probst spoke to Entertainment Weekly:
“We have a lot of great [former contestants] who we have not yet anointed as a star or worthy of being in an all-star version of some sort…And we started looking at that list and said, we actually have a new batch of people that would be fun to put against a group of newbies. And the result was fantastic. It really worked. It will be a season that most fans will regard even better than Survivor: Philippines. I really believe that. I know I’ve been wrong in the past, but if I’m wrong on this one, man, snuff my torch.”
Seasons 25 and 26 were shot back-to-back in the Caramoan Islands in spring, 2012. A difference that fans will observe is that the weather will be more cooperative. SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES were filmed at the end of the local rainy season, resulting in 21 consecutive days of torrential downpour. With warmer weather being forecast, fans can expect more challenges to be in the water.
“We were in the water a fair amount for Philippines, but we’re in the water even more in Fans vs. Favorites,” says Probst. “Nothing gets (show creator) Mark Burnett more excited than a shot in the water of someone diving down to untie something. That is the thing that he loves the most. So the mandate is, get those Survivors in the water as often as possible.”
After 25 seasons, SURVIVOR continues to remain in the top 30 Nielsen ratings. We at VA are pleased to see the producers pull returning players from a new era of the franchise. The habit of using retreads that have appeared on three (or more) seasons has resulted in some editions being predictable and boring. When the new season begins, your humble TV correspondent will be posting a weekly recap of each episode. Reader participation via Twitter and Facebook is encouraged.