I know I will get flak for this one but the #8 best TV show of all time is the one that started the whole reality craze…Survivor! I remember watching the first episode in 2000, I was addicted from the get go! Richard Hatch, Rudy Boesch, Susan Hawk, Gervase, Colleen, Jenna Lewis…the all became instant stars at the time. Survivor was something totally new and exciting. It captured the attention of the country and delivered huge ratings. Fast forward twelve years and Survivor is on season 25 and still delivering Top 20 ratings each season.
The first 10 Survivor seasons or so were great TV, interesting casts, beautiful locations and exciting TV. At some point it started to decline, there were seasons like China where the cast was great but the location didn’t offer much. Other seasons were just duds. But there were still gems in there like Tocantins or Fans vs. Favorites which was great. Then came the best season of Survivor ever, Heroes vs. Villains. Let’s bring back the most famous Survivors and divide them up into two tribes based on whether they were a hero or villain. Russell Hantz made his second appearance and wreaked havoc. It was awesome.
Unfortunately, they followed it up with Nicaragua which featured former Cowboys coach Jimmy Jones but not much else. Redemption Island wasn’t the greatest but you got to appreciate Boston Rob Mariano’s complete domination of the game. And don’t forget former special agent (?) Phillip Sheppard! Two boring seasons followed but the new season, Philippines, shows a lot of promise so far. Even the eye candy appears to know how to play the game, which has been a big problem in the past. Returning Survivors, Michael Skupin, Jonathan Penner and Russell Swan were all previously medically evacuated from their season. Penner is one of my favorites so I’m interested in this season even more since he is there. Former baseball star Jeff Kent and Lisa Whelchel of The Facts of Life are playing Survivor for the first time.
Survivor will be around for a few more years at least. Emmy award-winning host Jeff Probst is signed for one more year but has shown no signs of leaving. Boston Rob, Rob Cesternino and Richard Hatch have all been rumored as possible replacements if Probst ever left. The show still delivers in the ratings and since they went to filming seasons back to back the costs are very manageable for CBS. If you appreciate human drama and the strategy of gameplay then you would enjoy Survivor.