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.