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Survivor is an award-winning American reality-based competition television show produced by CBS. It is currently aired at 8pm during Wednesdays (formerly Thursdays).

History

Survivor is derived from a 1997 Swedish television series called Expedition Robinson. Following its success, in 2000, Mark Burnett collaborated with Parsons to create the US version, which they entitled Survivor. Initially, Burnett looked for a television network who would buy the concept, but was unsuccessful, until CBS accepted the offer.[1][2]

The American series debuted in May 31, 2000, which amassed huge international success, which prompted Burnett and Parsons to produce more seasons after it.

Following the American franchise, other countries have produced their own versions of the series. The rights to these franchises are bought from Parsons' Castaway Television Productions.

In Survivor: All-Stars, the movie, Lord of the Flies was said to be an inspiration of the series.

The Survivor series is considered to be the pioneer of the Reality Television genre, spawning several reality shows with completely different premises, either competition-based, or chronicling a famous person's daily life.

Premise

The show's premise is to subject 16-20 strangers to a remote location, stripped away of most comforts in life such as food and technology. These contestants would be undergo challenges and physical and mental fatigue for 39 days. Divided in to teams called "tribes", the castaways must construct a new world while battling the elements and one another. Every third night, they would go to Tribal Council and must vote one of their own off the island. At a certain point, what remains from the two tribes would merge into one final tribe where they will compete for a seat at the Final Tribal Council, where the most recently eliminated castaways will ultimately decide which of the final few would earn the title of Sole Survivor and its accompanying $1,000,000 prize.

Motto

The series' motto, Outwit, Outplay, Outlast, is the three key factors to ensure victory in the game. "Outwit" is the strategic factor, where a contestant must cleverly make it through the game as unscathed as possible. To "Outplay" is to consider the other contestants and how to assimilate and/or manipulate them. "Outlast" stands for surviving as much days as possible.

Format

To know about Survivor's rules, refer to the Survivor Rulebook page.

Sixteen to twenty strangers will be marooned in an unforgiving territory where they will be divided into teams called "tribes". According to Jeff Probst, the standard 16-castaway format is implemented to make the viewers get to know each contestant more; but in seasons with more than 16 contestants, Probst explained that the expanded cast is to have "wiggle room" in case of unprecedented events such as medical evacuations and voluntary exits.

Given with a pre-determined amount of tools and supplies, the tribes would then proceed to their camps, which they will inhabit on for the next 39 days (42 in Survivor: The Australian Outback). These tools are limited to a machete, a cooking pot and water canteens. In some seasons, contestants are given limited food supplies such as rice and fruits. Otherwise, they have to rely on available flora and fauna for nourishment.

These tribes are also required to compete in competitions called "challenges", where they have to vie for either creature comforts such as additional supplies, food or love from home (Reward Challenges) or the right to stay for three more days (Immunity Challenges). The tribe that loses at the Immunity Challenge must go to an elimination ceremony called Tribal Council where their actions will put into account. The tribe votes, and whoever receives the plurality of the votes (majority vote is not nessary) will be sent home. In Survivor: Redemption Island and Survivor: South Pacific, the person who gets voted out will be sent to Redemption Island to win their way back into the game.

At a certain point, the tribes will be merged into one final tribe, where they will now compete as individuals unlike the tribal phase, where challenges are won by group effort. The merge also marks the start of the Jury phase, where the people who gets eliminated will return to subsequent Tribal Councils to ultimately decide which among the final two/three wins the title of Sole Survivor and the million dollar prize that comes along with it at the Final Tribal Council.

Over the years, Survivor has introduced twists to the original format to make the game fresher and more interesting.

Locations

The series has been filmed in several countries, mostly favoring warmer climates. Locations have been:

Success

Through Borneo until Tocantins and from Nicaragua to South Pacific, Survivor remained as one of the most watched television shows, breaking in to the Top 20 Most Watched shows of their respective television seasons. The season finale alone of Borneo, "The Final Four", raked the series' highest number of viewers, with 51.69 million viewers. The change of timeslot in Survivor: Nicaragua (from Thursdays to Wednesdays) did not seem to affect ratings.[3]

Impact

Survivor's success are largely thought as the proponent of the Reality Television genre, spawning several other reality shows, competition-based or otherwise. On a similar note, Mark Burnett subsequently produced several other competition-based programs such as The Apprentice, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Combat Missions (which starred Survivor: Borneo and Survivor: All-Stars contestant Rudy Boesch), The Voice, and among others.

Merchandise

Seasons and Ratings

Survivor: Borneo Wednesday 8:00 pm May 31, 2000[10] 15.51 August 23, 2000 51.69[10] 36.70[11] 1999–2000 #2 28.30[12]
Survivor: The Australian Outback Thursday

8:00 pm

January 28, 2001[13] 45.371 May 3, 2001[14] 36.35 28.01 2000–2001 #1 29.80[15]
Survivor: Africa October 11, 2001[16] 23.84 January 10, 2002[17] 27.26 19.05 2001–2002 #8 20.69[18]
Survivor: Marquesas February 28, 2002[19] 23.19 May 19, 2002[20] 25.87 17.89 #6 20.77[21]
Survivor: Thailand September 19, 2002[22] 23.05 December 19, 2002[23] 24.08 20.43 2002–2003 #4 21.21[24]
Survivor: The Amazon February 13, 2003[25] 23.26 May 11, 2003[26] 22.29 17.65 #9 19.97[24]
Survivor: Pearl Islands September 18, 2003[27] 21.50 December 14, 2003[28] 25.23 21.87 2003–2004 #7 20.72[29]
Survivor: All-Stars February 1, 2004[30] 33.531 May 9, 2004[31] 24.76 23.92 #3 21.49[32]
Survivor: Vanuatu September 16, 2004[33] 20.06 December 12, 2004[34] 19.72 15.23 2004–2005 #10 19.64[35]
Survivor: Palau February 17, 2005[35] 23.66 May 15, 2005[36] 20.80 15.48 #5 20.91[37]
Survivor: Guatemala September 15, 2005[38] 18.41 December 11, 2005[39] 21.18 15.21 2005–2006 #8[40] 18.30[37]
Survivor: Panama February 2, 2006[41] 19.20 May 14, 2006 17.07 11.65 #11[40] 16.82[42]
Survivor: Cook Islands September 14, 2006[43] 18.00 December 17, 2006 16.42 13.53 2006–2007 #13 15.75[44]
Survivor: Fiji February 8, 2007[45] 16.68 May 13, 2007 13.63 11.43 #15 14.83[44]
Survivor: China September 20, 2007[46] 15.35 December 16, 2007 15.10 12.22 2007–2008 #8 15.18[47]
Survivor: Micronesia February 7, 2008[48] 14.02 May 11, 2008 12.92 10.84 #11 13.61[47]
Survivor: Gabon September 25, 2008 13.05[49] December 14, 2008 13.77 11.74 2008–2009 #15 13.81[50]
Survivor: Tocantins February 12, 2009 13.63[51] May 17, 2009 12.94[52] 11.59[52] #19 12.86[50]
Survivor: Samoa September 17, 2009[53] 11.66[54] December 20, 2009 13.97[55] 11.68[55] 2009–2010 #26 12.34[56]
Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains February 11, 2010[57] 14.15[58] May 16, 2010 13.46[59] 10.65[59] #25 12.60[56]
Survivor: Nicaragua Wednesday

8:00 pm

September 15, 2010[60] 12.23[61] December 19, 2010 13.58[62] 11.19[62] 2010–2011 #11 13.61[63]
Survivor: Redemption Island February 16, 2011 11.17[64] May 15, 2011 13.30[65] 10.97[65] #18 12.59[63]
Survivor: South Pacific September 14, 2011[66] 10.74[67] December 18, 2011 13.07[68] 9.92[68] 2011–2012 #18 12.77[69]
Survivor: One World February 15, 2012 10.79[70] May 13, 2012 10.34[71] 7.72[71] #29 11.64[69]
Survivor: Philippines September 19, 2012[72] 11.37[73] December 16, 2012 11.46[74] 8.77[75] 2012–2013
Survivor: Caramoan February 13, 2013 8.94

Accolades

Primetime Emmy Awards

Year Category Nominee/Episode Result
2001 Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class) Won
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Non-Fiction Program For episode "#1" Won
Outstanding Cinematography for Non-Fiction Programming "A Honeymoon Or Not" Nominated
Outstanding Main Title Theme Music Russ Landau Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming "Trial By Fire" Nominated
Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special "Survivor: The Reunion (#1.14)" Nominated
2002 Outstanding Lighting Direction (Electronic, Multi-Camera) for VMC Programming "Finale and the Reunion" Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Two Peas in a Pod" Nominated
Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video for a Series "Finale and the Reunion" Nominated
2003 Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music Program Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "The Importance Of Being Earnest" Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "More Than Meats The Eye" Nominated
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program Nominated
2004 Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Beg, Barter And Steal" Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Swimming With Sharks" Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Shark Attack" Nominated
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "They're Back" Nominated
2005 Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "This Has Never Happened Before" Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "This Has Never Happened Before" Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Culture Shock and Violent Storms" Nominated
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Love is in the Air, Rats are Everywhere" Nominated
2006 Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise" Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Starvation & Lunacy" Nominated
Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Salvation And Desertion" Nominated
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise" Nominated
Outstanding Sound Editing for Nonfiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise" Nominated
2007 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "An Evil Thought" Nominated
2008 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "He's A Ball Of Goo!" Nominated
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Jeff Probst Won
Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "Just Don't Eat The Apple" Nominated
2009 Outstanding Sound Mixing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "The Poison Apple Needs To Go" Nominated
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Jeff Probst Won
Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "The Camp Is Cursed" Nominated
2010 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Tonight, We Make Our Move" Nominated
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Jeff Probst Won
Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "Slay Everyone, Trust No One" Won
2011 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Don't You Work For Me?" Nominated
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Jeff Probst Won
Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "Rice Wars" Nominated
2012 Outstanding Picture Editing for Non-Fiction Programming (Single or Multi-Camera) "Cult-Like" Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for Reality Programming "Running the Show" Nominated

See also

References

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