SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers is officially over, and a new champion has entered the hallowed halls of reality television lore. But as we look back at all the madness and mayhem of the finale, we also look ahead to what comes next, and at the end of the Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers reunion show, Jeff Probst gave a tantalizing tease for what’s in store for season 36.

Probst shared the first trailer and theme for the next installment, Survivor: Ghost Island, which will air on CBS stating on Feb. 28, 2018. While information there was scarce, we coerced the host into revealing some more intel about what to expect when the next batch of players hits the beach.

Credit: CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell us about the Ghost Island theme, what it means, and how it can impact the game.
JEFF PROBST: Ghost Island represents all the bad decisions made by former players. Think of it as the graveyard for Survivor mistakes. We found a really creepy island that serves as Ghost Island and we designed it using actual Survivor items from previous seasons. For instance, castaways who spend the night on Ghost Island will sleep underneath the 35 previous torch snuffers. So as they drift off, they are reminded that one mistake can mean your death in the game. And every idol or advantage in the game will be from a previous season. These are the actual, authentic items from past seasons.

Tracking those down was a feat in and of itself. And every item is famous for being played incorrectly. The conceit is those items are haunted and have been living on Ghost Island. The new players will have the chance to reverse the curse and play them properly… or suffer the same fate. It’s a very big idea and a big swing creatively. One of the great luxuries of this show is that we have an audience so loyal we can try new things and know they’ll give it a chance. We had a blast with it and I think the audience will enjoy it quite a bit!

What kind of cast do you have this time around? I loved them when I met them before the game. How would you sum them up after watching them play?
We have a stellar group. Everything really lined up. They are almost all super-fans and really know the show and its history, which adds a lot to a season like this. I think the audience will find a lot of very likable people to root for and probably a couple that you may actively root against. But isn’t that always the case!

Every season has a different feel to it. Some are strategic battle royales while some are super personal with bonds forged and broken; some are fast out of the gate while some are slow burns; some deal with very serious issues while some are more fun and funny. How would you categorize the feel to Ghost Island?
That’s a great question. As I am thinking back on this season, I have a big smile on my face, because this season has several of the elements you listed. It’s definitely a season of some fun personalities, but there are also bonds that form early and are challenged later and some very good strategic gameplay.

Anything else you can tease or hint at for this next season?
Ghost Island has an attitude. It’s a cocky island and it will taunt you. But if you are up for a challenge, it could be your salvation.

Episode Recaps

SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning a million dollars, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "DIG DEEP!"

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