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Jeff Probst signs new two-season 'Survivor' hosting deal with CBS

By Christopher Rocchio, 02/09/2010 

CBS has announced it has inked Survivor host Jeff Probst to a new deal that will keep him helming the long-running reality series for its 21st and 22nd editions, which the network ordered late last month.

While Probst's last two 2008 and 2005 Survivor pacts were both two-year, four-season deals, the new agreement will only take him through the show's two 2010-2011 season editions, but doesn't mean he's planning on leaving the show.

"I'm not approaching this as my last year of Survivor," Probst, who will also continue to serve as one of the show's producers, told Entertainment Weekly in a Tuesday report.

"I was just comfortable taking it one year at a time. It certainly made it easier for me to just commit to one year and then we can revisit it again next year if everybody wants to."

However Probst -- who claimed the inaugural Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality Competition Series in 2008 and then won the award again in 2009 -- added that he's confident someone else could fill his shoes if he ever decides to step down.

"I have always said that my belief is that the star of Survivor is Survivor: It is the format," he explained to Entertainment Weekly.

"So yes, if there came a point where I decided I was leaving Survivor, I absolutely believe someone else could take over."

According to Probst, Live for the Moment -- his new reality pilot that bombed in the ratings when aired on CBS late last month -- had nothing to do with the delay in announcing his return for Survivor's 21st and 22nd editions.

"Live for the Moment showed me how fun it is to do something new and to explore new topics. It also is a great reminder that it is very, very difficult to get a show on the air, let alone find an audience. But I want to be clear: It had nothing to do with whether I was coming back to Survivor or not," he told Entertainment Weekly.

"This was just taking a moment after 10 years to take a look at my future, and where I saw it going, and what I wanted to do with it, before signing my contract."

Probst added that the reason he decided to come back was partly based on the same reason he has come back every year since Survivor premiered in May 2000.

"What has kept me interested in Survivor for 20 seasons is the study of human nature," he told Entertainment Weekly.

"How we justify our ethics, and watching what happens to people when they are put in situations of extreme conflict. Sometimes it's hard to watch, and sometimes it's enjoyable to watch, but it is always interesting to watch."

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains -- the reality series' twentieth season -- will premiere with a special two-hour episode on Thursday, February 11 at 8PM ET/PT.

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