Review Of CBS's Survivor
Survivor is one of the most popular reality television shows of all time. The show is fascinating to a broad viewing audience for several reasons, but primarily due to the exotic locations which serve as the setting for the show, as well as the extreme drama which results from having an incredibly diverse group of individuals trapped together at a remote location. The history of Survivor actually has its own series of tribulations and struggles, mostly due to the fact that no television network wanted to buy it. Many Survivor fans do not know that the United States' version of the show and was based upon the successful Swedish show Expedition: Robinson.
The idea for Survivor was originally generated by British producer Charlie Parsons who shopped the show in the United States but could not find a television company interested in the idea. After Sweden finally bought the original idea, Mark Burnett went on to buy the US rights to Survivor in 1998, but was turned down multiples times by CBS, ABC, UPN and NBC. For some reason, CBS asked for another appeal at the show, and the first American installation of Survivor went into production for its first season in Borneo. Survivor's first season was filmed in Borneo in April and March of 2000 and was first aired soon thereafter in May through August of the same year. Audiences immediately grabbed onto the show, and clamored for another season.
Filming for the second season started immediately. Survivor: The Australian Outback was aired from October 2001-January 2002, and by this point Survivor frenzy was well underway. Survivor: Africa was shot and aired in the same year as the Australian Outback. Interestingly enough, Survivor was slated to be filmed on location in Jordan for season Survivor: Arabia. However, after the September 11 tragedy in 2001 Mark Burnett chose to cancel filming in Jordan and had to immediately find a new location for the season. Further seasons have been filmed in: the Marquesas Islands, Thailand, the Amazon, the Pearl Islands, Vanuatu, Palau, Guatemala, Panama, and the latest installation of Survivor: Cook Islands will be aired in September of 2006.
The premise of the show features anywhere between 16-20 strangers who become stranded together in a remote location, and must find ways to build a new life from the land. The cast members are divided up into tribes and they compete against each other in two forms of challenges: immunity and reward. After the immunity challenge, the losing tribe is forced to banish one member from their own tribe. This banishment occurs in a ceremony called Tribal Council, at which tribe members cast silent votes for the member who they think should leave. Obviously, the individual who won the Immunity Challenge is safe for another week on the show. The reward challenge is based on endurance, skill, problem-solving abilities or other criteria and allows the cast members to win luxury-type items to make their stay more enjoyable and comfortable. Examples of luxury items have included: food, matches, tarps and tools, and have been used to catapult the comfort and endurance of the cast members.