Reality continues to be annoyingly unprofitable for the reality TV business today, as Variety reports that CBS’s long-running competition series Survivor has postponed production due to worries that its title role might soon be, well, a thing of the past. In fact, Survivor is just the latest reality series to delay production due to concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus, following in the footsteps of The Amazing Race, which announced its own postponement last week.
To be clear, the production delay will not affect the currently airing season 40, which shot its episodes last summer. Rather, the delay will impact the upcoming season 41, with host Jeff Probst issuing a statement today, presumably from within the loving confines of his ceremonial cargo shorts:
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.
Probst goes on to note that the show is currently hoping to resume production in May, by which point either the current health crisis will have abated, or (and we’re reading between the lines for this part) it’ll be so far advanced that it’ll give the reality show’s next season some of that old-school Survivor edge. (Sure, falling in a fire was bad, but have you tried shaking hands with someone with a slightly dry, hacking cough?) Either way, the current season of the show should proceed on schedule, including the airing of its live finale episode in a couple of months.