I fear for Survivor UK

By | October 24, 2023

To be clear, I don’t think it will be rubbish, I’ve always quite enjoyed it with the caveat that I can also get Survivored out – the versions you can stream on Prime and so on feel like they go on too long and there’s little variation in the challenges which all fall into precisely three flavours (wrestling, obstacle course with a thing at the end, hold a thing for as long as possible), the US one I probably haven’t watched properly since Russell Hantz was A Thing and the effort of sourcing wasn’t worth the payoff. I still have trouble with the idea that Joel Dommett has the gravitas to pull off “the tribe has spoken”, but there are decent people working on our show and at a fixed 60 minutes, I’ve got an open mind.

The scheduling for it is baffling though. On the face of it putting it on after Strictly on a Saturday and Sunday is an aggressive move – it’s the BBC’s biggest live audience of the week by a distance. My issue is Survivor feels like waaaay too heavy a show for a weekend berthing, and especially after 90/120 minutes of light entertainment dancing and with Blankety Blank afterwards – that’s a really weird sandwich, no flow at all. It can be argued that it would be “bringing the drama to replace Casualty“, but the problem with that is that nobody watches Casualty in 2023. You would hope that people will watch on iPlayer, but that’s going to need buzz but I absolutely can’t see it matching The Wheel (4m + 1m) on a Saturday, and last week’s Antiques Roadshow got 5m out of Strictly. I think Survivor will launch around 3-3.5m overnight, fine as it goes, but at what cost? And if it doesn’t hold that it’s going to be a long Autumn.

Of course there’s a second, more amusing, issue that Survivor faces in that three weeks into its run I’m A Celebrity starts on ITV, and with it being live and likely much bigger there is no way, not a chance, Ant and Dec don’t get digs in from link one. This will be amusing, especially as I’m A Celeb only exists because of Survivor‘s original failure in the UK. If Survivor starts off shakily, they’re going to want to sink it while they’ve got the chance. I’m a Celeb is not the guaranteed behemoth it might have once been, but with a decent selection of celebs it can certainly still open to 10m, or at least twice what Survivor will probably be getting.

Basically I think they’ve ballsed the scheduling up and they probably ought to have saved it for the New Year.

In other news some streaming trailers have dropped.

007: Road To A Million – travel to a place, do a stunt, answer a question, repeat until you fail or you’ve won a million quid. Looks fun. Launches on Prime Video November 10th.

Squid Game: The Challenge launches November 22nd on Netflix and airs across three weeks.

10 thoughts on “I fear for Survivor UK

  1. Chris B

    Agree with much of this. Would have been a really good launch at New Year.

    Is there any indication of when S2 of The Traitors will be this year? Be interesting if they go stripped again and the word of mouth Box Set available over Christmas did it loads of favours. Be interesting if they saved that to launch over Christmas or New Year.

    Personally can’t really see them getting digs in at Survivor in the jungle unless it’s either a megaflop or a megahit as to be honest I think most people just won’t be that aware or bothered by it? If it’s kind of middling at 3M, will ITV want Ant and Dec drawing attention to it through the guffaws of the crew? When they joke about pop culture it’s usually the sort of stuff that absolutely everyone is likely to be aware of. Maybe I’m wrong, I would be interested to see them joke about it to be fair!

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I think they’d much more discipline than I’d have, especially as it would be launching just as an episode of Survivor had finished, it might be coded, a reference to their rewards being half a custard cream, an oblique reference to Joel Dommett being an ex-campmate but I’m not sure they’d just let the elephant in the room hang.

  2. Alex Blundy

    There’s no doubt the show has a strong lead-in with Strictly. Both shows this week for SCD will at an estimate get around 7.5 million – meaning Survivor could launch on Saturday with around 4.5-5 million? That could be the case, before dropping to around 3-3.5 million as the series progresses, with a slight rise for the final maybe.

    I’m also expecting comparisons to IAC.

  3. Daniel

    Not happy with the BBC putting Survivor in The Wheels slot Survivor needed to go in three 9pm slots during weekdays not weekend slots i agree that it is far too heavy putting it on after strictly i can’t see the show doing very well i am very interested as to how it will do i am estimating 2.5M. The trailer doesn’t give the feel good factor that we get from The Wheel i was considering to watch the show but after seeing the trailer i’ve been drawn away from bothering to now. Actually really stupid decision by the BBC their schedule was fine as it was they should have left it as it was with Picture Slam , Strictly , The Wheel , Blankety Blank why change something when it’s getting good figures The Wheel peeks at nearly 5M a week better than any ITV gameshow they will lose the viewers trust me.

  4. James P

    I fear that the contestants themselves are going to be annoyingly sanctimonious as they were on The Traitors. There won’t be much in the way of big gameplay moves or interesting strategy because no one wants to be a “liar”. And the British public will vilify anyone who actually tries to play the game. Really hoping I’m wrong. Glad that idols are in play but you need twists to keep it interesting

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      I wouldn’t have thought the first series would be too twisty, you need a base line and most of the audience won’t have have one.

  5. Greg

    I go I to this with an open mind from the trailers I have seen I have massive reservations. I don t actually mind the scheduling I think it gives the show it’s best possible chance. A lot of people I know kind of fell upon a lot of Saturday night TV because it was scheduled around Strictly.

    My main issue is with the hosting and how the episodes are likely to be edited. Survivor is as much about the conversations alliance building and the feel of the show as it is about the challenges and tribals.

    I fear that it is going to be edited in a light hearted way certainly seeing the choice of host would absolutely ratify that thought.

    I love Joel on The Masked Singer perfect host for the perfect show. Survivor on the other hand is a completely different beast. It needed somebody with a bit of grit. Joel is just a bit too fluffy.

    After seeing Ant Middleton hosting Million Dollar Island he would have absolutely been my pick

  6. Cameron Yarde Jnr

    That’s how I feel too. The scheduling could work against it. It will also be compared to other shows like I’m A Celebrity and The Traitors, even though it did many of the items on those shows first. Those programmes have established their styles and Survivor will come across as a copy.

    Really by this time of the year Gladiators should have started and gone before Strictly, then have The Wheel and Blankety Blank follow it. Save Survivor for the new year.

  7. Brekkie

    BBC scheduling at this time of year is always baffling but Survivor should have aired Sept/Oct or have been held back till the New Year after The Traitors.

    Airing at this time of year though using Race Across the World as the launchpad would have been better, then maybe a Sun/Wed cycle. Saturday doesn’t feel right, though a usual dull Q1 will benefit from half the series of The Wheel being held over, presumably along with Big Show being paired with Gladiators.


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