'Survivor' Experiences All-Time Ratings Low But Forges Ahead
On Sunday night’s finale of Survivor: Micronesia, Jeff Probst told the audience that fans felt that this season was second only to the very first season, which premiered in 2000. What’s interesting about that statement is, that even though fans may have liked this season, it didn’t translate into viewers. This past Sunday was the lowest rated Survivor finale in the show’s history, bringing in only 13 million viewers. That’s down 5 percent, while the reunion was down 13 percent from the previous year.

Survivor has experienced a steady decline in viewership since the first season, set in Borneo. Over 51 million viewers tuned in to watch Richard Hatch become the first sole Survivor. There was a sharp drop in the second season, with 36 million checking out the finale in Australia. Survivor: All-Stars only brought in half the viewers that the first season did. The lowest rated seasons have been the most recent: Micronesia, China, Fiji, and Cook Islands.

Despite the ratings woes, Survivor is returning for a 17th season this fall, set in Gabon, Africa. “I didn’t know where it was,” Jeff Probst told Entertainment Weekly. “I had to look it up on a map. It is probably the most remote place we have ever gone.” In season 3, set in Kenya, there were armed guards to protect the contestants from the wildlife. Not so this season, says Probst. “We’re not gonna have that because they’re telling us it is so remote and will probably be remote forever. But a gorilla could wander into camp,” he said.

Season 17 marks the first time that the show has been shot in high definition, which means that viewers will get to see everything, even Jeff Probst’s complexion up close. “I went through every scenario: Is there any way I can wear makeup? Is there any way I could not shoot in the middle of the day? And the answers are all no. I’ve just come to terms with it,” he said. The show begins filming this June and Survivor: Gabon – Earth’s Last Eden will premiere this September on CBS.

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer

Source: CBS, Entertainment Weekly
(Image courtesy of CBS)