Jeff Probst renews his contract -- The ''Survivor'' host returns to the CBS hit for four more seasons

By Dalton Ross
Updated December 16, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

Burnt out after snuffing torches for five and a half years, Survivor host Jeff Probst went into filming season 12 assuming it would be his last. ”I honestly have no idea what they think about me,” he said in October during the filming of the upcoming Survivor Panama: Exile Island. ”If they even know what I do, or if they look at me as disposable.” But Probst ultimately forged an alliance he couldn’t refuse, reupping last week for four more editions of the CBS reality show over two years. The turn of events can be traced to a few key developments: CBS — which could hardly afford to lose the face of its third-biggest hit, especially with ratings sliding 12 percent for its latest season — agreeing to a higher salary and shorter commitment; the return of other key players (such as executive producer Tom Shelly, and challenge producer John Kirhoffer); and, most importantly, a reinvigorated Probst. ”I literally travel around the world, meet fascinating people, am part of a great social experiment — and get paid for it,” Probst told EW before Sunday’s live Survivor: Guatemala finale. ”It really was, this is your one life, what do you want to do with it?” For the next two years at least, he has his answer.

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