Americans film ' Survivor ' in the Amazon
The sixth season of "Survivor", the most successful reality show airing on network television in the United States, has been taping since September in the Amazon, using the hotel Aria˙ Jungle Towers, in the archipelago of Anavilhanas, in Rio Negro, 60 kilometers northwest of Manaus, as its base camp. The taping, which involves 300 people, will end on the 23rd of next month, a source in the hotel management's office told O GLOBO. CBS Press Relations (CBS is the network which airs "Survivor"), did not want to supply more information. The program will be aired next year, between April and June.
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The production closed down the hotel, which has capacity for 600 guests, and specified in the contract a clause of secrecy, with fines for breach of contract in the millions of dollars, according to the source. This week, however, the production took a team of American journalists for the first round of publicity for the program, which is said to be called "Survivor: Amaz˘nia ".
The value of the production contract could not be confirmed by the parties involved. Rumors on the Internet mentioned a contract at $ 500,000 a month and a mandatory wage increase for local translator-interpreters who work in the region.
-- This is the first time that the [production] team sleeps in hotel rooms with real beds -- said Dan Bollinger, owner of the website Survivor Maps, which tracks, through satellite images, the locations of the program.
The two first editions of "Survivor" were filmed in Oceania (Malaysia and Australia); the third was in Eastern Africa (Kenya); the fourth, in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia; and the fifth, in Thailand. The seventh edition may be filmed in Mexico, with a new twist: celebrity cast. The information about the location was still not confirmed by CBS, whereas the president of the Phillipines, Gloria Arroyo, stated in October that its country would be hosting the program.
Program no longer beating audience records
In the meantime, CBS has started legal action against its rival ABC, which is planning to produce an American version of the British hit , "I am a celebrity... take me out of here".
This program, according to filed documents, "is consciously designed to imitate ' Survivor ' and to profit commercialy from its success". Since its premiere, two years ago, "Survivor" has remained on the Top Ten list of most watched programs on network television. During its summer run, it beat successive audience records.
Airing on Thursdays, and with the Thailand season still being broadcast, the program has had highs and lows this Fall season. In the week of October 28th to November 3rd, "Survivor" was not among the Top Ten on the Nielsen Institute ratings (the Ibope of the United States). Even last year, when the program filmed in Australia was aired, it could not repeatedly beat the series "Friends." The season of new programs for networks show that the "reality" genre has lost vigor.