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Survivor Live: The Show That Didn’t Surviveby Brian Towers -- 09/25/2007
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Let’s get right to the nub of the story – it is sadly true that the popular Survivor Live Internet show will not be back this season. There is the faintest of hopes that it may return in the future, but for the current season, hopes are dim.
The format of the show centered on an hour-long interview with the most recently booted player(s). These interviews were augmented by phone-in questions from fans at home. Through the years, other features were added – some of which worked well; others, not so much.
For hardcore fans of Survivor, the program offered extra insight and explanation to events on the show, often including a glimpse of behind-the-scenes activities that never made it to air. Plus, by opening up a goodly portion of the show to viewer calls, it was perhaps the best opportunity for viewers to make their opinions known. Almost always fresh, viewers got a sense it was personal and “important.”
For contestants, the exposure was one of the primary post-show experiences. With The Early Show no longer featuring interviews with all booted players (or, come to think of it, a pre-season sendoff), there is a greatly lessened media exposure for the castaways. Luckily, sites like RealityNewsOnline are still here to help fill that void, but they cannot convey the visual, interactive aspect of the Survivor Live interviews.
Here’s a bit of history about the show. It began with Survivor’s ninth season (Vanuatu) and the initial hosts were the original Survivor, Richard Hatch, and Chris Booker, a New York-based radio and TV guy. They had a decent chemistry together, and Hatch was never short of opinions. In the second season the hosts were changed to EW.com’s Dalton Ross and the winner of Survivor: Amazon, Jenna Morasca. They developed a special chemistry together, and the show migrated from being merely informative and instructive to become quite entertaining as well.
We must fast forward now to current times. According to Jenna’s MySpace blog, cutbacks from reduced sponsorship are to be blamed. From her postings, it’s obvious she is both surprised and upset by the decision and she had been looking forward to resuming her co-hosting role.
RealityNewsOnline contacted Jenna for an opinion, and she wrote back, “Well I would just like to say mostly, thanks to all the fans that called in and watched every week. Whether they agreed with me or not, it was a lot of fun. I am hopeful that next season it will be back, so keep writing in. I know I am.”
Jenna closed by saying, “Next season might be one of my favs.” I take that to be her hope that Survivor Live will return next season.
As of this writing, Dalton has not posted any comment at EW except to confirm that the show is indeed gone from this season. In my interpretation of this, I assume he is too heartbroken to put his intimate thoughts into words. Carry on stoically, you manly man you!
I note the first episode of this China season premiered to over 15 million viewers, winning the night in all the significant demographic groups. It’s clear that viewer interest in the show remains high, and I think the advertisers have made a huge mistake by withdrawing support for anything related to Survivor.
If you wish to express your own feelings to CBS about the cancellation of Survivor Live, I recommend sending them a firm email. Go to the main page for Survivor: China, then scroll to the very bottom left and peer hard to find the word “Feedback” in a small dark-gray-on-black font. Click on it, and then fill out the form that pops up in response. Be polite, though – crank mail is ignored religiously at all serious websites!
As big a Survivor fan as there is, I am really going to miss the Survivor Live show. It was a staple of my Friday afternoons. I will still watch all the regular episodes on Thursdays two or three times, though I just may mute the commercials in silent protest. Plus, I will continue to keep my trivia-spawning spreadsheets up to date, and correspond with any and all who care to do so.
But it just won’t be the same experience for me this time around…
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Brian lives in Toronto where he can be reached at email@example.com. He’d like to hear your opinions and promises to respond to all serious email.
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