The day the Would Health Organization declared the growing coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic, CBS and the producers of Survivor moved in to postpone production on the upcoming 41st season of the reality competition.
“Due to concerns and uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 globally, CBS and the producers of Survivor have taken the precautionary measure to delay production on the 41st season, which was set to begin filming later this month in Fiji,” a CBS spokesperson said. “Pending worldwide events, the plan is to return to production on May 19th. The health and safety of the castaways and production members is our top priority.”
The decision was conveyed to the crew in a note by Survivor executive producer/host Jeff Probst.
“Though Fiji has no reported cases and is beautifully remote, our crew numbers over 400 and are flying in from over 20 different countries, creating a need for more time to fully analyze and create our new production safety plan,” he wrote.
The postponement comes less than two weeks before filming was slated to begin March 24. It also follows CBS’ recent decision to suspend production on the globetrotting reality competition The Amazing Race three episodes in, also over concerns related to the coronavirus health crisis.
“Our intention is to still to shoot both seasons 41 and 42,” Probst said in his email. If Survivor 41 start production on May 19 as now planned, it would still make it for a September premiere, I hear.
Survivor is currently airing its 40th season, Winners at War. Here’s Probst’s letter on the production delay decision, first reported by EW:
Hey Survivor crew,
Due to the growing short-term uncertainty surrounding the global spread of COVID-19 and the corresponding desire for the continued well-being of our amazing crew, we have decided to push back our start date for Survivor season 41.
Though Fiji has no reported cases and is beautifully remote, our crew numbers over 400 and are flying in from over 20 different countries, creating a need for more time to fully analyze and create our new production safety plan.
This situation is unprecedented and we are learning more information every day. It is out of concern for the well-being of all of you that we have taken this step.
Our intention is to begin production after the S40 live show. Therefore, subject to new information, our new planned start date for production would be on or about May 19th, 2020. Our intention is to still to shoot both seasons 41 and 42.
We know many of you will have questions and we will start a communication chain to keep everybody up to date.
We are the most experienced international television team in the world and for 20 years we have calmly and successfully managed a variety of production issues. We will navigate this one the same way.
Thank you for understanding our need for this extra time to create our plan.
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