Today CBS announced that its hit reality show Survivor was renewed for two more seasons, meaning it will return for its 23rd season in the fall and season 24 next spring.
The show that started the network reality boom has done it all. Survivor has had all-star seasons as well as years where it divided the camps based on race, gender and age. But how can Survivor stay fresh for two more seasons?
I think I’ve come up with the perfect plan that not only gives Survivor a new look, but which can also help all three of the network’s major reality competition shows get a boost. CBS needs to have a cross-reality show battle royale.
The network’s three big giants are Survivor, The Amazing Race and Big Brother. While contestants from both Survivor and Big Brother have competed on The Amazing Race in the past, that’s been the extent of the crossover between these three long-running franchises. But what if they all joined forces?
The next Survivor season could pit one tribe of Big Brother veterans against a tribe of Amazing Race all-stars. Not only would this inject new life into Survivor, but it could even help to expand the viewing audience by bringing in fans of the other reality shows on CBS. After spending the summer in a cushy house, imagine seeing Evel Dick Donato or preening muscle-boy Jessie Godderz trying to survive in the wilderness. Or imagine home shopping hostess Brook Robert or Harlem Globetrotter Flight Time at Tribal Council.
Survivor had already exhausted all-star seasons and bringing back past contestants, so why not try bringing in contestants from other reality shows? As a fan of Survivor, The Amazing Race and Big Brother, I would definitely be excited.
In addition, CBS could use this to launch a cross-show extravaganza. This summer, the Big Brother house could be filled with Survivor and Amazing Race contestants, trading in the challenges of jungle living and global traveling for an entire summer locked in a house. And then this fall, pairs from Survivor and Big Brother could all compete on a special season of The Amazing Race.
CBS could get three highly-rated seasons of their aging reality shows without having to cast a single new person. And the fact that all of these past contestants would have existing fan bases willing to commit to a new show for an entire season could only help improve the ratings.
The shows could also try a host-exchange program. Maybe Jeff Probst shows up on Big Brother to host a Power of Veto competition. Or Julie Chen could be waiting at a Pit Stop on The Amazing Race. The possibilities are endless, and it’s an idea just waiting to be put into action.
So get with the program, CBS, and freshen up Survivor with some contestants from other reality shows. If not, at least promise to stop bringing back Russell and Boston Rob. They’ve had more than their fair share of chances to win a million bucks.
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(Image courtesy of CBS)