'Survivor' pulled from CBS' fall schedule due to filming delay amid coronavirus pandemic
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/15/2020
Survivor has been pulled from CBS' Fall 2020 schedule due to ongoing production delays on the show's 41st season amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
CBS announced back in May that Season 41 of Survivorwas slated to air this fall on Wednesdays in its longtime 8PM ET/PT timeslot; however, the start of production has now reportedly been pushed back until at least September.
CBS has therefore released a revised Wednesday lineup for its Fall 2020-2021 schedule, with Survivornow replaced on the schedule.
This will mark the first time in nearly two decades that viewers will miss out on a fall Survivorseason.
CBS aired Survivorin the Wednesdays 8PM ET/PT timeslot since 2010. Before that, the series aired in the Thursdays 8PM ET/PT time period beginning in 2001.
"Producers forSurvivor, the network's perennial Wednesday 8PM series, are continuing to work with officials in Fiji on the appropriate time to start production on its next edition, with health and safety matters the top priority for everyone involved," CBS said in a Tuesday statement.
With Survivor no longer airing this fall, The Amazing Race -- which had been scheduled to air in the Wednesdays 9PM ET/PT timeslot after Survivor -- will now air in the 8PM ET/PT time period and the scripted drama SEAL Team, originally scheduled for the 10PM ET/PT timeslot, will now air in the 9PM ET/PT time period instead.
S.W.A.T., previously planned to debut later in the network's 2020-2021 season, will now air in the Wednesdays 10PM ET/PT timeslot this fall.
CBS is able to air The Amazing Race this fall because the showfinished filming its 32nd season back in December 2018 -- long before the global coronavirus pandemic began.
Survivoris the first show to be pulled from a broadcast network's Fall 2020 schedule since the networks unveiled their lineups this spring, according to Variety.
It remains unclear when Survivorwill be able to begin production on its next season in Fiji, and exact premiere dates for The Amazing Race and CBS' other fall series will be announced at a later date.
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Earlier this month,Survivor host Jeff Probst dished on the future ofSurvivor amid the COVID-19 pandemic and admitted producers did not have a plan in place yet.
"There are all kinds of things happening in the world right now -- certainly they impact the physical aspects of production... Shooting in a foreign country is exponentially more complicated, and we are still exploring them," Jeff toldThe Hollywood Reporter.
"I'm on the phone every couple of days, either with the government of Fiji or with our executive teams that are in charge of logistics and planning. We're continuing to lay out ideas. We don't have a plan yet."
"It's what we're spending all our time doing because it's not like we're going to Atlanta to shoot a show," he added.
The Hollywood Reporter, however, pointed out to Jeff that Fiji has declared itself coronavirus free.
"They've done an incredible job of controlling the virus. They've had a total of only 15 cases in their entire country, and they've had no active cases for months," Jeff explained.
"They have figured out how to handle it, and they just want to ensure that when we come shoot there, we don't change that. We're working together with them, but they've been very production-friendly in terms of wanting it to happen."
While Season 32 of The Amazing Race completed filming in December 2018, CBS didn't announce a premiere date for the season until April 2020, when it announced The Amazing Race's new season would premiere in late May and take over the Wednesdays 8PM ET/PT timeslot Survivor's landmark 40th season aired in this past spring.
However, after the potential long-term impact of the pandemic could have on television production became clearer a few weeks later, CBS changed plans and decided to postpone the broadcast of The Amazing Race season to later in 2020.
Season 41 ofSurvivor was supposed to begin filming on March 24 in the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji, however Jeff Probst informed crew members at the time cameras would not start rolling until at least May due to COVID-19, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Season 42 of Survivorwas reportedly set to begin filming on May 24, a few weeks after Season 41 was scheduled to wrap production.
According to Inside Survivor sources, Season 42 of Survivor is no longer expected to film back-to-back with Season 41, with the network now planning to film Season 41 in 2020 and postpone the production of Season 42 until early 2021.
Survivor's casting website also no longer states the show plans to film Seasons 43 and 44 back-to-back, as is the show's usual practice, between April 2021 and July 2021.
Instead, the casting site now makes no mention of Season 44 and states that Season 43 is expected to film beginning in May 2021, which is reportedly when the site had previously stated Season 44 was expected to start filming.
The Amazing Race was one of the first TV programs to shut down production in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Production of The Amazing Race's 33rd season was suspended in late February as a coronavirus precaution after filming through its third leg, or essentially the season's first three episodes.
The teams had reportedly already traveled to England and Scotland prior to the sudden suspension of the show's production.
"Yes, we were out, we were shooting Season 33, and then, look, all hell broke loose and we had to come home," Phil recently told EW. "It's very frustrating."
"People have asked me when we're going to be back shooting Amazing Race. And all I can say is, 'As soon as that curve goes down.' That line that we see -- which is so depressing right now -- unfortunately, is an indication of not shooting/shooting. I mean, that's all there is to it."