A few years back, Survivor host Jeff Probst started floating the idea of a possible celebrity edition of the reality show. On one hand, it made sense after the success of Celebrity Apprentice in reinvigorating that fading franchise; on the other hand, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here already failed here in the U.S on two different networks.
But after an initial burst of chatter, talk about a celebrity edition of Survivor eventually quieted down. Which raises the question: Is Celebrity Survivor dead? We asked Probst that while on location in Fiji for filming of next spring’s edition of the reality franchise, and his answer left the door open for it to happen.
“I don’t think it’s dead,” says Probst, “even though I’ve said it’s dead because Mark Burnett has told me it’s dead. I think the only way Celebrity Survivor works is if for some reason there was an event and you had momentum for the country — a benefit or something where enough celebrities said, ‘All right, I’ll give you six days.’ And we’ll do six episodes. We’ll vote someone out every night. I think we could do that.”
Of course, as with any Survivor season, casting is key. Could Probst convince enough of his famous friends to go rough it on an island without their usual perks and privilege? “I think we could get some cool people,” says Probst. “But they would have to have a reason to leave their life behind and take a week off from work. Guys like Jimmy Fallon — he is a fan. He’ll send me emails and say, ‘Oh my God, that was a great episode.’ But Jimmy Fallon hosts a gigantic show. There’s no way he’s leaving for six days if he has six days off. But maybe one day. And we’ve worked on a format that we could do that would be super fast. You could still have an hour to check in with your manager if you need to, but we’ll still kick your ass.”
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So there you have it. While Celebrity Survivor is not currently on the radar, it is something that has been worked on and could surface at some point. Whether Survivor — which is still going strong 32 seasons in — even needs a celebrity edition is another question entirely, but one which may be answered some day.