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Archive => RFF Archived Boards => Survivor: Gabon - Earth's Last Eden => Topic started by: marigold on September 18, 2008, 06:44:08 AM

Title: Survivor News
Post by: marigold on September 18, 2008, 06:44:08 AM
Survivor News:

The Q Scores Company Reports Fans of CBS’ “Survivor” Franchise Have the Strongest Emotional Connection of Any Prime-Time Series Returning This Fall

Compelling Dramatic Formats Account for “Survivor’s” Appeal


As American television viewers gear up for the new fall prime-time season, major broadcast networks will be anticipating whether its returning programs will pull ahead of competitors or fall flat. For the series that will anchor prime-time schedules this fall, two lingering questions remain: 1) Is the show coming back with enough viewer momentum, and 2) Will the strength of last season’s commitment keep viewers tuned-in on a regular basis? New data from leading market research company Marketing Evaluations, Inc., The Q Scores Company, reveals a unique way of measuring viewer loyalty and the ongoing commitment to a program. The latest TVQ results indicate that fans of the “Survivor” franchise have the strongest emotional attachment of any returning series going into the fall 2008 season.

“What we are seeing is that viewers feel emotionally connected to the ‘Survivor’ franchise, due to its similarity to scripted dramas with compelling stories,” says Henry Schafer, executive vice president of Marketing Evaluations, Inc., The Q Scores Company. He adds, “‘Survivor’s’ unusually long run is a direct result of its ability to stay fresh with relatable participants; generating strong loyalty and a high commitment to viewership going into the fall. That’s a winning recipe for long-term legs.”

Impact Q (“IQ Index”)

Q Scores data is now enhanced with a new dimension for measuring viewer loyalty, called Impact Q or the “IQ Index.” This measurement, based on likeability and viewing frequency, is an indicator of the program’s capacity to satisfy key viewers during the season. The higher the index the stronger the satisfaction level.

Emotional Attachment Index

The “Emotional Attachment Index” is a new measurement added during this past season, which indicates the commitment that key viewers have to continue watching a show into the future. The higher the index the stronger the emotional attachment going into the new television season.

Top 20 Prime-Time Shows Coming Back for Fall 2008
Among Adults 18-49
Ranked by "Emotional Attachment"
(Average = 100 Index)
NBC **  HEROES  153  164 
FOX ***  HOUSE  149  179 
CBS *  SURVIVOR: CHINA  145  147 
ABC ****  GREY'S ANATOMY  142  160 
CBS *  CRIMINAL MINDS  138  151 
CW *****  SUPERNATURAL  135  140
 CBS *  NCIS  132  149 
CBS *  THE UNIT  128  140 
CBS *  WITHOUT A TRACE  125  139 
ABC ****  BROTHERS & SISTERS  124  130 
NBC **  THE OFFICE  123  151 
FOX ***  PRISON BREAK  122  137 
NBC **  LIFE  122  95
NBC **  ER  120  135 

Link: (
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on September 20, 2008, 12:43:45 PM
Can someone post pictures of the Gabon cast group and also the two tribes? Thanks in advance...I need them for myspace, lol!
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: puddin on September 22, 2008, 01:01:03 AM

'Survivor' will shine spotlight on pristine Gabon
West African nation hoping to lure eco-tourists through exposure on show
By Andy Dehnart
MSNBC contributor
updated 6:04 p.m. ET, Sun., Sept. 21, 2008
Editor's Note: contributor Andy Dehnart traveled to the West African nation of Gabon this summer and interviewed "Survivor" cast, crew and others as the show was setting up for its new season.

When it debuted at the turn of the century, the CBS reality competition series “Survivor” ushered in an era where appearing on television resulted in fame and fortune for unknown, everyday people.

Now, as the show debuts its 17th season on Sept. 25, the series will play a role in the economic future of a little-known African nation where, for 39 days this summer, 18 Americans battled each other and the elements for $1 million.

Gabon, which gained independence from France 48 years ago, is located to the west of the Republic of Congo and is bordered on the north by Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. Its distinct topography consists of open savanna, which is marked by hills and formations that resemble natural amphitheaters, and dense patches of rainforest, from which wildlife, including forest elephants, venture forth at daybreak and dusk.

The show's presence in Gabon comes at a critical moment for the country, which just six years ago created a system of national parks to protect its largely untouched landscape. That national beauty is reflected in the tagline for “Survivor: Gabon,” “Earth's Last Eden.” Now, the Gabonese government — one of Africa's most rich and stable, thanks to oil and other reserves of natural resources — needs to find ways to make that protected land profitable, introducing ecotourism in place of logging.

As much as “Survivor” is part of that transformation, location is also critical to “Survivor.” With the exception of two seasons filmed in Palau and three seasons filmed in Panama, the production has moved to an entirely new place every year, and it's in part due to these spectacular locations that the show has remained popular.

The series’ first-season finale was watched by more than 51 million people  — a total Fox's enormous hit “American Idol” has never even approached. While the CBS series’ ratings have eroded in the eight years since then, both seasons that aired last year were among the top 20 shows in the country.

Also over that time, the “survival” elements of the game — finding food and water, building shelter — have been minimized in favor of the social game component. The winning contestant receives $1 million not for surviving the elements, but for outwitting, outlasting and outplaying his fellow competitors, as the show's logo says. Episodes now focus largely on interpersonal relationships and strategy.

But the locations still give each season a visual identity and inform the competitions constructed by producers, never mind presenting actual survival challenges for the contestants, from torrential downpours to swarming insects.

Besides making life difficult for the contestants, the locations presents challenges for the actual production itself, which doesn't always tape in such remote locations. This season, those well-publicized issues came from Gabon's isolation and lack of infrastructure, which also present challenges for its development of a tourism-based economy.

Mitigating the show’s impact on the land
Of course, “Survivor” is not just 18 people competing for a prize. It involves a massive crew, from camera operators to producers, cooks to grips, carpenters to housekeepers. They live and work out of a space known as base camp, which in Gabon was established close to the Atlantic Ocean, a two-hour boat ride south from Libreville, the country's capital and only major city.

The sand-covered area was a mix of cargo shipping containers, tents, and prefab trailers, with washing machines and dryers running all day in one tent and large tanks sitting on the camp outskirts. It had a surprising amount of infrastructure, from running water and functional bathrooms to wireless Internet access, all necessary to house and feed hundreds of crew members, never mind support the TV show's production over its 39 days.

None of this will ever appear on TV or be visible to the contestants, whose isolated camps were a half-hour to an hour away by car along pre-existing roads that, despite being bumpy, were actually improved by the production crew.

Three days before the game officially began in June, in the large catering tent that sheltered folding tables and chairs where the crew ate their meals, executive producer Doug McCallie told assembled crew members that besides creating a reality television show, “there's something more that we're doing when we come to these places.”

In Gabon, that “something more” happened in part because of Wildlife Conservation Society field biologist Dr. Lee White, who has worked that country for 20 years and has served as a liaison to the production. His work helped convince Gabon President Omar Bongo to create 13 national parks, an act that required paying logging companies more than $30 million but left more than 10 percent of the country protected.

White told the crew they would be “telling the world about the treasures of Gabon ... a country that's been discovered by biologists in the last 10 years” and where “people have evolved in these forests.”

Earlier that day, White said that the base camp's location itself was inhabited up until about 20 years ago, and on and off “for the last 10,000 years or so.”

“(The show is) setting up in a place that has been inhabited actually over many generations and even over hundreds and perhaps even thousands of years,” White said.

“Survivor” will impact the landscape, but not significantly. “It'll take a while for the campsites to grow back,” White said, noting that grass is the main plant that will have to regrow.  “They haven't cut any forest to do the show, but there's some erosion to deal with, and so on.”

Gabon's unique topography is actually affected by its inhabitants. “Even though this is a remote, pristine place, there's a long tradition of people living there,” White said. “The fact that we have a mix of forest and savanna is partly due to people. The savanna's grasslands go back about 3,000 years, but they're maintained by fires set by people,” White noted.

Unit production manager Dick Beckett, who is on location for five or six months, acknowledged that while “(the show has) a big footprint ... whatever we bring in, we take out,” Beckett said. “We will not be leaving anything behind — and if we leave it behind as a (donation), it's probably timber that goes to the local villages. In the past, we've built additions to local schools. We've tended to make contributions to communities.”

The production utilizes and shares local resources — if necessary, the show has access to the president's private military hospital. While around 80 shipping containers and 16 tons of air freight were brought in — everything from flat-pack cabins and offices to appliances, never mind the TV production equipment — many supplies are purchased locally, from food to five kilometers of PVC pipe and 15 kilometers of electrical cable.

More significant will be the impact the series will have on the country's economy. “A local labor force is essential,” Beckett said “We just cannot bring in enough people to do the kind of work, especially just the general hard work that people don't often realize (is necessary).”

Tourism wanted, but not too much
But those are short-term jobs, and once the series gives Gabon its biggest platform yet, the long-term changes will come with many challenges. Among those is skepticism from some Gabonese people.

Their reaction to the parks and plans for ecotourism is “somewhat mixed,” White said, “because they've lived in this lush equatorial forest all their lives next to elephants and gorillas, they think of it, to some extent, as being somewhat primitive. Their idea of advancement is moving to the city and getting a job in an air-conditioned office, and so they don't really understand the psychology of these rich, educated people who come from abroad and who get really excited about something they think of as mundane.”

The government is “basically taking a gamble that the national parks will not only protect Gabon's unique nature, but they'll be able to develop some sort of long-term industry around them,” White said. “And finding an industry that will maintain the environment whilst giving people jobs that they can be proud of is a challenge.”

The plan, he said, is “that the parks can act as a pull to attract people in and therefore foreign exchange, and can create jobs in rural areas which, to some extent, have been neglected in Gabon.”

But Gabon isn't looking to become the next Costa Rica, he said. Instead, the nation is “aiming at high-end” travelers and “definitely (doesn't) want to do mass market tourism.” White says Gabon's objective is 100,000 tourists a year by 2015, up from a tourist base that is now practically negligible.

There's a lot to be done to make that happen, but one of the first steps is simply awareness.

“The great thing about ‘Survivor’ is that it will mean that a lot of people around the world are seeing flashes of Gabon and are talking about Gabon,” White said, “and will actually know that Gabon exists.”

Andy Dehnart is a writer who publishes reality blurred, a daily summary of reality TV news. Find him on Facebook.
© 2008 MSNBC Interactive


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Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on September 23, 2008, 12:50:57 PM
Group picture

Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: puddin on September 24, 2008, 12:33:49 AM

'Survivor: Gabon' throws temptations at cast
Exiled contestants can choose luxury, or chance to hunt for immunity idol
By Andy Dehnart
MSNBC contributor
updated 4:26 p.m. ET, Tues., Sept. 23, 2008
Since the first season of "Survivor" eight years ago, temptation has always played a pivotal role on the show.

In a game that changes constantly, insecurity fuels the urge to change one's strategy, behavior, or allegiances. Those who go far make those changes smartly and carefully; those who go home follow temptation blindly, making wild decisions and not considering the consequences.

For its 17th season, premiering on CBS Sept. 25, "Survivor" returns to Africa and officially makes temptation its theme. "Survivor Gabon: Earth's Last Eden" has a subtitle that both reflects its physical environment and game.

The landscape of the West African country of Gabon affects this season's twist, which is suggested by its subtitle, "Earth's Last Eden." Besides untouched rainforest and hilly savanna marked only in many places by tire tracks that form bumpy, lonely, makeshift roads, Gabon also has distinct amphitheater-shaped hills. Those hills will host many of the challenges, which have been designed and constructed with the landscape in mind.

More significantly, large parts of the country, particularly those in the newly formed national parks, are pristine and stunning. In other words, it's Eden-like — and as with the central theme of the story of Eden, cast members will be faced with temptation.

Primarily, that comes as part of Exile, which has dropped the "island" this season because it's an open area near a body of water that's surrounded by trees. Those sent to Exile will not automatically search for the hidden immunity idols that became so pivotal to the game last season and lead to a number of stunning blindsides.

Instead, this season's exiled contestants will have a choice: They can opt for a clue that may help them find the all-important hidden immunity idol, or be tempted by "Survivor"-level luxury.

That seems like an obvious, easy choice: temporary comfort or an insurance policy that could keep a player in the running for $1 million.

It's immediate reward versus long-term gain, and for some of the cast members, that might not be an obvious choice.

That's because the 18 people competing for the $1 million are an interesting mix. The vast majority of them are in their 20s, except for Dan, who's 32, and Susie (47), Randy (49), Bob (58), and Gillian (61). They include actors, lawyers, teachers and doctors, and have faced everything from lives of privilege to adversity.

Good vs. evil
While that would seem to set up competition between the older and the younger, lines in the cast will most likely be drawn along the lines of good and evil, to borrow again from this season's subtitle.

As a group, they're relatively evenly divided. There are the arrogant, egotistical cast members who are there to play the game (often ruthlessly, or at least unapologetically), and those who want adventure in their lives yet seem too friendly and kind for a game often built on manipulation and deceit.

Although that oversimplifies and exaggerates the cast's composition, they are very distinctly different, at least in terms of why they're playing the game. Many were recruited by the show's casting producers and didn't apply on their own (personal trainer Matty, jeans salesperson Kelly) while others have been fans since the first season (retired nurse Gillian, who has applied 15 previous times). Some of those who were recruited actually are fans (lawyer Charlie, doctor Marcus). Others are experience junkies, want to challenge themselves, or just want to have fun (high-school teacher Bob).

As always, how those players are organized into tribes is most critical early in the game. Tribal loyalties often determine game play even long after the tribes merge.

This season, instead of being placed into pre-determined tribes by producers, the tribes will select themselves, with each contestant picking the next person to join the tribe. In some respects, they'll be responsible for their own fate as a tribe, and who they select is critical.

In pre-game interviews, nearly all of the 18 cast members revealed that they've formed distinct impressions of one another even though they were not allowed to talk or interact in any way in the days leading up to the game's official start. In some extreme cases, some had already decided who they think would be good allies, while others were ready to vote certain people off immediately.

However, that's not exactly anything new; first impressions have played a role on "Survivor" since the first season, as they do in non-reality TV competition life.

Perhaps the biggest change for "Survivor" this season is aesthetic, as the show will become the first non-studio network reality show to be shot in high definition. While viewers with standard TVs will see cropped images (the show will not be letterboxed), those with high definition TVs and cable will see the contestants, host Jeff Probst, the animals and their game-play metaphors with greater detail than ever before.

Now it's up to the contestants to make the game as stunning as the televised images. They have a difficult benchmark, as "Survivor" is coming off of two incredible seasons, China and Micronesia. But if they respond well to temptation, they just might be able to match them.

Andy Dehnart is a writer who publishes reality blurred, a daily summary of reality TV news. Find him on Facebook.
© 2008 MSNBC Interactive


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© 2008
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: puddin on September 24, 2008, 10:58:59 AM
This is pretty cool, it opens in a PDF
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: puddin on September 24, 2008, 02:43:46 PM
2 Jeff interviews on the new season

Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: georgiapeach on September 24, 2008, 05:22:32 PM
I think Jeff let a spoiler loose there... :funny:
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: puddin on September 25, 2008, 04:07:44 PM
Jeff Probst talks on The Early Show

Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: puddin on September 25, 2008, 04:08:11 PM
Survivor: Gabon - Jeff Probst interview

Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: puddin on September 25, 2008, 04:08:57 PM
Jeff Probst Takes A Look At "Survivor: Gabon

Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: marigold on September 26, 2008, 12:44:51 PM
Survivor Gabon Premiere Ratings:


Released by CBS

The Premiere of "Survivor: Gabon" Wins the 8:00-9:00 PM Time Period in Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54

First Ever Two-Hour Premiere Nets Almost 13 Million Viewers From 8:00-10:00 PM

SURVIVOR continued its Thursday (8:00-9:00 PM) winning streak, as the first hour of the two-hour premiere of SURVIVOR: GABON-GARDEN OF EDEN placed first in viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54, according to preliminary Nielsen live plus same day ratings for Sept. 25.

SURVIVOR has won its Thursday (8:00-9:00 PM) time period every week against regularly scheduled competition in viewers and key demographics since 2002.

Last night's SURVIVOR debut was its first ever two-hour premiere and faced the highly promoted premieres of "Grey's Anatomy" and "The Office" in its second hour.

From 8:00-9:00 PM, SURVIVOR: GABON was first in households (7.8/13), viewers (13.05m), adults 25-54 (5.5/14) and adults 18-49 (4.4/13). CBS topped its closest competitor in the 8:00 PM hour by +18% in households (+1.2 rtg ), +53% in adults 25-54 (+1.9) +33% in both adults 18-49 (+1.1 rtg) and viewers (+3.27m).

From 8:00-10:00 PM, SURVIVOR: GABON (P) was tied for first in adults 25-54 (5.5/13, with ABC), second in households (7.6/12), viewers (12.91m) and adults 18-49 (4.4/11).

For the night, CBS was second in households (7.1/11), viewers (11.74m), adults 25-54 (4.8/11) and adults 18-49 (3.8/10).
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: marigold on September 28, 2008, 11:29:01 AM
 :ascared an interesting article  :-[

Marcus Lehman’s penis exposed on Survivor

CBS is notorious for its often-unnecessary blurring of Survivor cast members. Anything deemed offensive—a bit too much breast, some pubic hair, a revealing bulge—gets a fuzzy spot placed over it. It’s so odd and amusing that there’s even now a video compilation of the “gratuitous blurring” from the first episode.

But on Tuesday’s two-hour premiere, something did not get censored: Marcus Lehman’s penis. In the second episode, during the combined immunity and reward challenge—a recreation of one from Survivor Africa—Marcus starts running and gets exposed.
He’s wearing loose-fitting boxers, and right after Jeff says “go” and everyone starts running, Marcus’ penis pops out for a few strides. It’s in both a close-up and a wide shot, and is extremely obvious if you’re looking for it. It’s even visible in the challenge video on CBS’ web site, at the 2:30 mark.

Oh La La has still photographs and Naked Straight Guys created a video that replays the moment in slow motion and zooms in—and sets the whole thing to ironic music complete with sound effects.

Link to the article and video: (
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on September 29, 2008, 11:42:15 AM

Erik from Micronesia's review of the first episode:

Survivor Gabon: Want to See the Elephant Dung?
Posted by Erik Reichenbach | Sunday, September 28, 2008 @ 4:33pm

What the hell is 2008 Emmy Award winner Jeff Probst doing on top of a giant mountain? How did these random Doctors, Lawyers, Smash Brothers Champions, and Olympians appear out in the middle of a grassland in the African jungle? Is that Bill Nye the science guy trying to make fire? Welcome to Survivor Gabon: Earth’s Last Eden!

This review / random compiling of thoughts may be a little long for some, but don’t blame me! The episode was a 2 hour double feature; I have a tough time staying focused on anything for that long myself.

The short review is simply put:

    * Gabon is gorgeous, let’s all go there
    * Kota is badass: the Marcus, Charlie, Corinne, Jacquie alliance is looking great already
    * Fang, as a tribe, is mismanaged and awkward to watch but some members possibly have redeeming qualities in their own right
    * And next episode everyone’s gonna fight a lot (within the tribes and in the physical challenges)

Extended Review: Good Tribe, Bad Tribe?

Kota is badass, enough said. Marcus and his “Onion Layers” alliance (two form the inner circle, add on other players as the next layer to the core alliance) is already looking like a winning strategy. Corinne, Jacquie, and Charlie all look like solid players that can hang well into the game despite twists and turns. Aside from strategy I already can’t help but love Bob, the physics teacher, and Paloma even though we haven’t even seen that much of them. Unless there’s an extreme plot / tribal twist ahead (and there always is) this is a group that’s going far in the game.

At the other side, holy crap Fang is sending out some seriously negative vibes. Their lack of direction and awkward chemistry between players makes me tense every time they show what’s going on around camp. If this tribe continues to flounder we’re probably going to be seeing a lot of Fang in the coming episodes, and that is a bit annoying to think about. It's never fun to watch one team get "Pagonged" * every week..

Just because some aspects of Fang are hopelessly terrible doesn’t mean there aren’t some redeeming ones. Danny looks like a strong player, as does Matty. Randy may piss off some viewers because of his “watch other people crash and burn” attitude, but I can relate to his position especially considered the tribe he's in. Ken is a hilarious character just to watch and I hope he can make it out of his tribe alive and make it to the merge.

I’m not even going to touch that whole “we need a tribe leader” thing. Like Randy I’m staying out of it and it's pretty clear that GC was way too young to be the leader. It was a case of mistaking eagerness as leadership. Leaders notoriously become targets because of the conceived power and influence they hold and oftentimes to be a leader in Survivor is to be marked for execution most of the time (although I thought Tom from Palau should be noted as an exception to this concept).

Michelle (the first boot) initially surprised me. Taken, she had a terrible attitude both in the game and in her post-game interviews, but she could have contributed well to the tribe when it came to the challenges. My guess (seeing as I wasn’t there) is that Michelle’s negativity combined with being an outcast (being picked last, staying close with Ken, attacking people at Tribal council) outweighed her tribal worth and in that regard I think they made a good decision. Gillian being out second was a pretty standard Survivor early boot ("get the old out first") and didn’t really surprise me as much. I’m sure she enjoyed her free vacation in Africa, and at least she got to dig around in elephant dung on national television. She seems like a sweet person from what I saw.
“My season was harder than your season”

Right away we had an injury that was worthy of the medical team! We’re one episode into the season and Randy gashes his friggin' head open while moving around at night. He was ultimately fine (and now has an awesome head-bandage) but leaving the game for something as pointless as an injury is just ridiculous. It's just not worth it to be careless out there. When we were in Micronesia I recall someone asking one of the natives, “Do we need to have our shoes to go hunt crabs?” to which the islander responded, ”It’s your feet!” When you’re in a survival situation you take your own health entirely in your hands. The tiniest injury can cost you the game and plenty of past Survivors know this lesson all too well.

I was initially surprised by how easy things are for this group of castaways. They have a bag of rice, something I would have killed for in Micronesia. As they approached their new tribal camps we got to see that there were huts already made for them and a nice little boat dock. WHAT the hell?

At first I was kinda pissed, but then realized there are two things to take into account with the “luxuries” the Gabon Survivors received. First, there are crazy animals walking around and most likely the huts are there strictly for protection (if you recall in the third season, Survivor: Africa, the tribes had an already constructed thorn wall for protection against wildlife as well). Secondly, seeing as Gabon is an entirely new location for Survivor (unlike many seasons that filmed in repeated geographic regions of Palau, the Pacific Ocean, and Panama) producers may be unsure about how easy it is for castaways to live off the land there. They may have given the tribes a little extra luxury just so nobody dies of starvation, animal attack, or exposure. Better to be safe than sorry.
Can I see some more elephant dung next Thursday?

I’ll be back next week to report on episode two, which is at its regularly scheduled time of Thursday at 8pm. The third Reward challenge has been exceptionally brutal in the past couple seasons, and this upcoming episode looks like more of the same. Something about hanging onto a wooden post for as long as you can while others try and pry you loose? I dunno, I saw it on a preview somewhere.

Take it easy guys,

Erik Reichenbach
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: georgiapeach on October 10, 2008, 10:57:05 AM
Such an interesting behind the scenes glimpse --answers a lot of the "how'd they do that questions! Thanks to apskip for the link!

By Andy Dehnart contributor
updated 10:01 a.m. ET, Tues., Oct. 7, 2008

Fans of reality TV shows are known for becoming obsessive about their favorite series, and that's absolutely the case for "Survivor." Reality show fans want behind-the-scenes information in part due to curiosity about a show they spend hours watching every season, but also because they're sometimes skeptical about how real these shows actually are.

Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about the realities of "Survivor. " These answers are based upon my week-long visit to the Western Africa set of "Survivor Gabon." Other seasons filmed in other locations may have slightly different answers, in part because the production changes and evolves, but also because different geographic locations can require slightly different approaches.

Is "Survivor" real?
Yes. Are there parts of the production we don't see on TV, however? Absolutely. Besides having to condense the show from thousands of hours of footage into 13 episodes, a lot is required to produce a TV show. For example, when you watch a challenge, you won't see 75 producers and crew members filming, recording audio, taking notes, and watching the challenge unfold. But based upon my observations, none of what doesn't make it on TV actually affects the game. What you see on TV is nearly always exactly as it happens.

Why does the show cast models or actors or people who've never seen the show?
Because they don't receive enough quality applications. Lynne Spillman, who's in charge of casting for "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race," has said in interviews that the show regularly receives tens of thousands of applications, but most aren't from what the show considers to be good candidates. Thus, the show recruits, often models or actors (dubbed "mactors")although those people still go through the casting process. That's become more common recently; everyone except one person on "Survivor Fiji" was recruited, and while that may give us unmemorable mactors, recruiting has also given us unlikely but popular contestants such as Yau-Man Chan.

Can Survivor cast members bring or wear whatever they want?
No. While cast members bring their own clothes to the location, producers select what they take to camp, ensuring that the cast will be wearing camera-friendly colors. Among those prohibited items include shirts or caps with corporate logos. Selecting clothing also allows producers to make sure not everyone will be wearing, say, green T-shirts. They're also searched to ensure that cast members are not smuggling food, matches, or other items to camp with them or in their belongings.

The show used to regularly feature each contestant's “luxury item,” such as Colby’s large Texas flag that actually helped serve as shelter in the “Outback” season. While the items haven't been featured on the show during recent seasons, cast members do bring comfort or luxury items with them to the location, and the producers do approve those items — and decide whether or not to distribute them sometime during the game (if at all).

What do contestants do all day?
Not much. Periodically, on-site producers pull cast members away from the group to do their confessional interviews. And, of course, the contestants go to challenges on two out of every three days. But beyond that, it's up for them to amuse themselves, whether that means foraging for food, strategizing, or just sitting around and talking.

Do Survivor cast members get personal hygiene items?
Yes and no. They have access to a container with necessary supplies, such as feminine products, birth control, vital medications, contact lens solution, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Otherwise, they're on their own. Contestants don't get razors, toothbrushes, or other conveniences, so if they have bright white teeth or aren't growing body hair, it may be because of tooth whitening or laser hair removal they had done before they left for the show.

Where does the crew live and work?
Living arrangements depend upon the location, and ranges from tents to actual hotels. In Gabon, base camp was a two-hour boat ride from the country's only major city, Libreville. A large part of base camp consisted of a large, temporary tent city, where everyone from producers to host Jeff Probst were living until their prefabricated cabins — which included bathroom facilities — could be assembled nearby. The crew works out of trailers or cargo containers that double as offices, and some offices are prefabricated and assembled on site. Everyone except contestants eats their meals in a large catering tent, which opens as early as 4 a.m. for those who need to be on location first thing.

Are the cast members ever alone?
No. Producers and camera operators stay at their camps all day and all night — in part to make sure they don't miss footage, but also to ensure the cast's safety. They work nearby in off-limits, camouflaged areas known as camera camps, where there are cots, food, and equipment storage. Those camps are very primitive when compared to base camp, however, and tribe camp crews work different shifts, so they return to base camp and are not always living out of the camera camps. At Exile Island (called just Exile in Gabon), a producer with a camera stays with the exiled cast member.

 How do contestants get treated for injuries?
On-location producers will mention any concerns to the medical staff, and can call for medics if there's a significant problem. Before and after every challenge, contestants visit individually with the show's medics. But as medic Craig "Squizzy" Taylor told me, "During the game, though, they're playing the game of Survivor for $1 million. So, we try to have as little to do with them as possible." He said that minor injuries are "part of the game." While a few major injuries forced people out of the game last season, nearly all of the (mostly minor) injuries or illnesses treated by medics affect the show's hundreds of crew members, who, of course, greatly outnumber the 18 contestants.

How do contestants get from tribe camps to challenges and Tribal Council?
Although they are often shown setting off with packs and walking sticks, making it seem as if they traversed miles on foot, those images only show the first or last part of the trip. They're transported. In Gabon, they were driven in vehicles with black plastic covering the windows. That prevents contestants from seeing where they are, and from seeing parts of the production such as base camp. After arriving, they're kept in a waiting area until Jeff Probst calls them in to the challenge, which is what we see on TV. They are not allowed to talk to one another until cameras are rolling either at the challenges or back at camp, ensuring that viewers won't ever miss a critical moment.

Do the contestants get more information than we see on TV about challenges?
Yes. After host Jeff Probst gives the explanation we see on TV, Probst and John Kirhoffer, the leader of the team that constructs all of the show's games, walk through the challenge with each tribe. The tribes can ask questions or strategize during that time, and doing it separately keeps the other tribe from knowing the others' strategy, if they have one. Accompanying them is someone from CBS' standards and practices division, who makes sure that each tribe has the same basic information so that the contest remains fair.

Who demonstrates (and tests) challenges?
The Dream Team, a group of young crew members, many of whom return for future seasons to work with the show in other production jobs. They run through challenges at least twice, including once with the challenge production team to see how it works, and once for a dress rehearsal, when they're filmed as if they were the actual contestants. That gives the crew the chance to practice filming, so they know where they'll need to be or where they can get their best shots. Footage from that dress rehearsal is shown to viewers when Jeff Probst explains the challenge to the cast. Helicopter shots of challenge locations are filmed separately, so that the production part — equipment like cameras and cranes, never mind more than 50 crew members — won't be seen on TV.

The show also occasionally uses the Dream Team as stand-ins in its faraway helicopter shots. If you think about it, that makes sense, since when you see a challenge from above, for example, no cameras or crew are visible, so who is it that's providing all of the footage of the cast running the challenge? In most cases, but not all, shots from a helicopter are filmed afterwards, after the competition is over and the crew has left with their equipment.

That doesn't affect the game in any way, just how it looks on television.

How long does Tribal Council last?
It varies, from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, but it's a lot longer than what we see on TV. However, give thanks that it's edited, since much of the conversation is also kind of boring.

What does Jeff Probst do when he goes to "tally the votes"?
After actually collecting the votes, Jeff consults with producers, who have been watching the voting confessional footage live in a production booth far away from Tribal Council. Based upon what they've seen and the actual outcome of the vote, they decide the order in which Jeff will read the votes aloud, organizing them for maximum drama and selecting which contestants' votes will be shown on TV. That's why the votes Jeff reveals first are the ones viewers have already seen.

Where do cast members go once they're voted out?
To Ponderosa, a nearby camp or facility. Those who don't make the jury typically leave together and stay elsewhere until the end of the game, while those who are on the jury remain at Ponderosa and on location, so they can attend Tribal Council every third day. CBS now airs an online-only series that follows life at Ponderosa, if you're curious about what happens there.

Andy Dehnart is a writer who publishes reality blurred, a daily summary of reality TV news.
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on October 11, 2008, 12:29:12 AM
Charlie & Todd (how cute!)

Corinne, Charlie & Eliza

Amanda, GC & Todd

Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: georgiapeach on October 24, 2008, 10:32:10 PM
Ratings: :jumpy:


Network Leads Thursday in Viewers and Key Demos with Gains From Last Week

"CSI" Is the Night's Top Attraction in Viewers and Adults 18-49

"Survivor: Gabon" Places First in All Key Measures Delivering its Largest Audience Since the Premiere of "Survivor: Micronesia" in Feb. 2008

"Eleventh Hour" Remains Time Period's Top Drama

CBS was the No. 1 network on Thursday in viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 for the third consecutive week, posting week-to-week increases and topping Game 2 of the World Series, according to preliminary Nielsen live plus same day ratings for Oct. 23.

CSI was the night's top attraction in viewers and key demographics, up in adults 18-49 from last week and topping "Grey's Anatomy" in that demo for the second time in three weeks, while SURVIVOR: GABON notched week-to-week gains in all key measures and delivered its largest audience since the premiere of SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA in Feb. 2008.

SURVIVOR: GABON was first in households (7.8/12), viewers (13.40m), adults 25-54 (5.4/13) and adults 18-49 (4.4/12). Compared to last week's episode, SURVIVOR was up +4% in adults 25-54 (from 5.2/13), +5% in adults 18-49 (from 4.2/12), even in households and added +590,000 viewers (from 12.81m, +5%).

For the night, CBS was first in households (9.1/14), viewers (14.91m), adults 25-54 (5.5/13) and adults 18-49 (4.3/11). This is CBS's third consecutive Thursday night win in these measures. CBS was first in households, viewers and adults 25-54 in every half-hour, first in adults 18-49 for five of six half-hours.

Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 10, 2008, 08:34:01 PM
Survivor Castaway Dodgeball Event for Charity from last week and here's the list of all who attended:

Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 11, 2008, 09:19:41 AM
Some random pictures from the dodgeball event last weekend....




Marcus with a fan

Ace with a fan

Charlie with a fan

Courtney, Todd & Frosti


Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 11, 2008, 02:32:40 PM
Group picture of most of the attendees, not everybody is in the picture:





Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: michael on November 11, 2008, 02:36:24 PM
haha, I see Eric from TAR in that group.

random question, is Frosti gay? I saw a picture of him on myspace kissing todd LOL...i thought he liked courtney on survivor or something
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 11, 2008, 02:39:43 PM
haha, I see Eric from TAR in that group.

random question, is Frosti gay? I saw a picture of him on myspace kissing todd LOL...i thought he liked courtney on survivor or something

Good question...I would guess he is bi-curious?
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: puddin on November 11, 2008, 10:42:11 PM
It took me awhile to figure out which one was Frosti, seems like light years ago. Thanks for sharing Will.
Title: Re: Survivor News
Post by: RealityFreakWill on November 12, 2008, 10:23:19 AM
More pics.....

Johnny Fairplay and Rupert

Ace and Ami