Mark Burnett reveals tidbits about upcoming "All-Star Survivor"
By Wade Paulsen, 11/03/2003
During his press conference regarding the "ghost tribe" twist on Survivor: Pearl Islands, executive producer Mark Burnett also answered numerous questions about the upcoming Survivor All-Star edition ... or, usually, didn't answer them.
In Burnett's opinion, too much attention paid to All-Star Survivor would detract from Survivor Pearl Islands, and so he stated that an official announcement regarding the show would not take place until Pearl Islands was complete. In fact, about the only thing that he did on the record was indirectly lobby for the time slot after the Super Bowl on CBS in January 2004 for the first episode of All-Star Survivor -- which was the timeslot given to the first episode of Survivor: The Australian Outback -- by asking CBS spokesperson Chris Ender if he knew of a good lead-in to launch the All-Star series.
Burnett also confirmed that none of the survivors chosen knew who else was chosen until they arrived to start the show. He also made clear that he didn't like the "ratings hits" that the program's traditional mid-series "recap" episode gets -- indicating that there probably will not be a recap episode of All-Stars.
One item that Burnett did not officially confirm -- but which seems obvious from the choice of Panama for the live finale of Survivor: Pearl Islands -- is that the All-Star episodes will be filmed in Panama, despite our skepticism regarding the idea. Apparently our belief that the chance of using the Pearl Islands site again was "too low to seriously consider" was too inaccurate to seriously defend ...
In addition, Survivor News reports that Survivor: Pearl Island castaway Rupert Boneham is participating in the All-Star edition. If so, this would indicate that Burnett doesn't intend to surprise the All-Star cast with the same "ghost tribe" twist, since Rupert would know all about it (and, anyway, it had been reported widely on the Internet thanks to the efforts of spoilers such as "Griffe" and "Snewser") -- although it doesn't mean that he doesn't intend to use it or a similar twist (such as an entire tribe of "ghosts" replacing active players) to keep the "All-Stars" guessing.
These reports about Rupert also indicate that previous reports that Survivor All-Stars would be limited to contestants from the first four seasons may not be correct. Another possible participant, though, comes from the first four seasons. Vegas Beat, an entertainment page in the Las Vegas Sun, reports that Survivor: The Australian Outback vixen Jerri Manthey was supposed to appear on a show on the Vegas strip this week but failed to show, and the show's producer said that she got a call from CBS to go to L.A. to discuss a "top-secret" idea. Whether that secret idea involved a trip to Panama has not been confirmed.
Finally, Mark Burnett noted that he claimed to be unconcerned about reports of events on the Internet, noting that "it doesn't effect the ratings" and pointing out that, while he heard that someone online was excited because "a big chat got 5,000 people," "we get 20 million viewers a week." "Normal viewers" don't spend all day at work online, they "get work done," said Burnett. All we can say is that we believe that Mark Burnett pays no attention to the Internet just about as much as we believe that Mark Burnett played no role in this season's incorrect Internet gambling spoiler that "leaked" on the heels of last season's correct spoiler for Survivor: The Amazon.