is often credited with kickstarting the whole competition-based reality TV genre seven years ago. But did you know that Survivor
was actually created in 1992?
UK production company Planet 24, owned by Charlie Parsons and Bob Geldof, first came up with the concept, which British and American networks had no interest in. Consequently, the first series made was in Sweden, called "Expedition: Robinson," and aired for seven seasons. In Scandinavia, it was one of the most successful yet controversial shows ever, and its fourth season finale was watched by millions.
It was only when Mark Burnett bought the American rights to Survivor
in 1998 that it was on its way to the phenomenon it became. The networks didn't immediately see it as a potential success – Burnett was turned down by NBC, ABC, UPN, and even CBS themselves, before they gave it a second look. It took a couple of years to make it onto the air, but when it finally aired in the summer of 2000 it was an immediate success, with the first and second seasons getting nearly thirty million viewers each.
When it started, it was groundbreaking and new and different. Now that it's in its fourteenth season, is it still what it once was? Is the audience as interested in watching the same old challenges and tribal councils every week?
host Jeff Probst has said he's not sure he wants to stick around after his current contract is up, and while he says it's not about the show but his own personal direction, is that really it? Last season's Survivor: Cook Islands
had half the number of viewers as the first season of Survivor
, though it still ranks in the top ten most of the time.
surviving? What do you think? You're the audience, possibly the most important part of the show. Do you think the show should go on? Comment below or join us in the forums to share your opinions.
-Mel Harris, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Sources: variety, E!Online
Photo courtesy of CBS