Jeff Probst appeared on the Howard Stern Show to talk about the success of Survivor before the 43nd premiere.
Probst admitted in the interview, which was aired on August 31, that Survivor would not last as long as it has.
Probst asked you if you thought the job would last forever when you first got it.
Probst replied, "I didn't know anything about television." I didn't have a publicist or anything, so I didn't know how it all worked.
I thought we would for sure get a second season, and then I thought I might get a third season before it's done, according to the coach.
Jeff Probst on Going up Against Friends
Probst may have hoped that Survivor would continue to exist after 43 seasons, but he always believed in the program. In his August 31 interview, Probst shared a story from the early days of Survivor that proves he understood how special the program was.
Probst told the host that back in the early 2000s, he agreed to place Survivor in the same time slot as Friends on NBC.
Friends was on, and Thursday night was a must-see TV on NBC, according to him. This was back before streaming, so the networks were everything, and you were in direct competition with whatever show was on at your same time on the other network, so if Survivor was on at 8 oclock and Friends was on at 8 oclock, we were going to be competitors.
We were originally on Wednesday, and at 8 oclock on Wednesday, nothing was on, so the Survivor ratings were really high, according to the Survivor ratings.
Probst said he told CBS's scheduling director to move Survivor to the same time as Friends, one of the most popular sitcoms in history.
Jeff Probst on New Era of Survivor
Survivor's post (@survivorcbs)
Probst posted a teaser trailer for season 41 on Instagram in the fall of 2021, telling followers that the previous Survivor was gone, and that a new more dangerous version of the game had taken over.
The previous two seasons have seen fresh surprises and hidden advantages. Despite some who like the new unpredictability feature, others who prefer the program deem it too complicated.
Probst discussed the Survivor new era in a May 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly. The beloved host gave fans a glimpse into the future of Survivor, revealing that the new era will last.
We mean it when we say this is a new phase of the game, according to the author. We are establishing new markers. Things like small tribes, no food, risk/reward dilemmas, Shot In The Dark, are here to stay. Other specific twists will come and go depending on the season.
We changed the game because we wanted to give players a new set of problems to solve, according to the author. The easiest way to frame it is to compare it to our very first season. Those players knew they would be offered a food reward, but they did not eat rat. They developed a new style. That's what we're doing in this new era.
CBS will broadcast Survivor on Wednesday, September 21 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.