“Survivor” is a beast of a series. There’s no other way to put it at this point. It set television records through its first two seasons, and while it has since fallen in terms of numbers and zeitgeist, it’s still a significant contributor to CBS. It has a fan base that is as active as ever, and in an era where it is becoming increasingly difficult to encourage viewers to watch live, this is a show where people still do. You don’t want to run the risk, after all, of going on Twitter and having the end result spoiled for you.
When we got around season 25 and then season 30, there was some speculation here and there and questions that maybe the show would be wrapping up. Luckily, it didn’t happen, and we’re now entering the 33rd and 34th seasons. “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X” is going to be airing later this fall, and there’s another season coming in the new year that was filmed this summer.
So how much longer could we go? For the time being, the concern is not that of ratings. There has been a slight decline, despite what you may hear about the ratings staying steady year to year. Typically, you see a drop of around 5% in the 18-49 demographic from one season to the next, but that’s still a great number in comparison to most other shows out there, which can often drop between 10 and 15%. When you look at most of the other CBS shows, “NCIS,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and maybe “Scorpion” are the only three shows that may have a little more stock right now in terms of ratings and/or longevity moving forward. Even if the ratings decline does continue, it shouldn’t be a factor for several more years.
The big thing is that Jeff Probst and the producers need to do what they can in order to continue to prevent further declines. By this, one of the main priorities should be continuing to come up with innovative twists that grab people’s attention almost right away. We’re not sure “Millennials vs. Gen X” does. Maybe you borrow from other reality shows and cast people who have broken relationships entering the show, or you go back to basics and just have two tribes full of unique personalities. All-Stars do work, but it needs to be either a full group of them or another Blood vs. Water.
The same goes with the concept of twists. We do think the immunity idol adds to the game, but anything that could upset the balance of power like a super-idol should be looked at with caution. Twists need to allow for some balance, and also be simple enough so that new viewers will continue to watch.
For now, our personal dream would be to see the show make it to season 50; that way, if it goes out it is doing so with its 25th anniversary. Will that happen? Time will tell.
Rest assured that we will have some further coverage of “Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X” very soon over at this link. Meanwhile, sign up over here to secure some more TV news on all we cover, sent right over to you via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)