With CBS releasing a revised Fall 2020 Wednesday night schedule, the network confirmed what viewers of Survivor had feared: the long-running reality competition series will no longer be a part of CBS' schedule. Production on the upcoming season 41 was suspended back in March when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, but host/EP Jeff Probst, executive producers Mark Burnett and Matt VanWagenen, and the production team had hoped to resume work back in May.
The network said in the release announcing the schedule change that the "producers for Survivor, the Network's perennial Wednesday 8:00 PM series, are continuing to work with officials in Fiji on the appropriate time to start production on its next edition, with health and safety matters the top priority for everyone involved."
So what does this mean for the CBS line-up? First up, Survivor is out and the Phil Keoghan-hosted The Amazing Race is in, moving up from 9 pm to 8 pm. Taking its spot at 9 pm is the fourth-season return of military drama SEAL Team, starring David Boreanaz, allowing it to move up an hour from its usual 10 pm spot. This means S.W.A.T. is getting called up earlier than expected, with the fourth season of the Shemar Moore-starring series taking over the 10 pm spot.
Here's a look at the letter sent out to the production team by host and executive producer Jeff Probst, obtained exclusively by EW's Dalton Ross:
Hey Survivor crew,
Due to the growing short-term uncertainty surrounding the global spread of COVID-19 and the corresponding desire for the continued well-being of our amazing crew, we have decided to push back our start date for Survivor season 41.
Though Fiji has no reported cases and is beautifully remote, our crew numbers over 400 and are flying in from over 20 different countries, creating a need for more time to fully analyze and create our new production safety plan.
This situation is unprecedented and we are learning more information every day. It is out of concern for the well-being of all of you that we have taken this step.
Our intention is to begin production after the S40 live show. Therefore, subject to new information, our new planned start date for production would be on or about May 19th, 2020. Our intention is to still to shoot both seasons 41 and 42.
We know many of you will have questions and we will start a communication chain to keep everybody up to date.
We are the most experienced international television team in the world and for 20 years we have calmly and successfully managed a variety of production issues. We will navigate this one the same way.
Thank you for understanding our need for this extra time to create our plan.