The tribe has spoken, again.
CBS has renewed Survivor, a resilient granddaddy of the reality-competition genre, for 29h and 30th seasons, to air in 2014-15.
And host Jeff Probst's contract, due to expire this season, has also been extended.
renewal is no surprise, since the show has held up better than many of
its rivals. It's averaging 11.4 million viewers, down just 3% from last
fall, and last week's episode doubled the audience of Fox's The X Factor in the same Wednesday time slot.
on the scene in June 2000 and quickly created a new genre of
programming, in which a group of strangers scheme and compete to win a
$1 million prize. It spawned a wave of competitors, most of which have
come and gone.
Executive producer Mark Burnett
speculates the appeal of contestants who can "wipe the slate clean" and
reinvent their personas on a desert island full of strangers may
contribute to its staying power. And he says the notion of tribal
councils, in which ejected contestants pick the final winner, gives the
show a moral compass. "You only get the million dollars if the people
you got rid of give it to you. It's the ultimate leadership training."
also credits the inquisitive Probst, who grills contestants at each
tribal council, with being "a huge part of the reason for its success,"
current 28th season, which wraps up Sunday with a nightlong finale and
reunion show (8 p.m. ET/PT), has been a popular draw with its Blood vs.
Water theme, in which contestants compete alongside loved ones. The
29th, already filmed, is expected in late February. Its theme will be
revealed in Sunday's finale, but will pose the question, "What kind of
person is most likely to win Survivor?"
Burnett is one of
TV's most prolific producers, and this week is no exception. He counts
12 hours of network television, including NBC's The Voice (which wraps up Tuesday) and The Sing-Off, Survivor and ABC's Shark Tank. CBS also announced plans for a 2015 miniseries, The Dovekeeper, co-produced by his wife, actress Roma Downey, that will join NBC's sequel to his hit History miniseries The Bible. The Voice and Survivor are the top two reality shows among young-adult viewers.