We don’t yet know how Survivor is doing in the consolidateds – we should find out how the opening weekend did on Monday (it seems to be hanging around 10th in the trending list), but having said for weeks before the show starting that the post-Strictly weekend timeslot was quite a big misstep, well it’s not giving us a great deal of satisfaction in being right. There’s an extremely real chance that tonight’s episode might have an overnight that starts with a 1.
The irony of a show predicated on strategy being done over by the strategy of management is not lost on me. There was no need for the stakes to be so high – it didn’t need trailing for months beforehand during big primetime events. The papers are saying it cost £30m to make – I don’t know how much I buy that, the tariff for This Sort Of Thing will be between £500-750k per episode, maybe a bit more can be negotiated, £30m that suggests they’re paying £2m an episode. Have you seen the size of the Tribal Council firepit? The original show cost £10m and and that’s when there was money to throw about.
The sad thing is is that the show, or at least the bones of it, isn’t that bad. It’s not. I can understand the lighter tone being divisive (mainly split along tribal “have you seen the American one” lines). I think it needed to highlight Characters Doing Antics a lot earlier, we don’t have an awful lot to grab onto even three episodes in. Everyone’s a bit “polite BBC” thus far. They’ve picked good challenges, which clearly they’ve made the show’s centerpiece, they haven’t gone overboard on twists and the ones they have picked so far have simmered quite well even if it’s more through implication than conversation.
Unfortunately for the Beeb, there are no good options for it right now – short of pushing it later into the evening so something more appropriate can ride the Strictly wave (Blankety Blank, much more suited, but with limited episodes left). They’re not going to drop McIntyre in there – early next year they’ll have 11 episodes of Big Show and The Wheel to go with 11 episodes of Gladiators and that feels like a much more successful schedule, they’re not going to want to disrupt that. I don’t know what else the Beeb have planned for Saturday nights when Blankety Blank finishes. And they can’t just move it to Wednesday/Thursday nights like it probably always should have been because it feels like The Traitors will be launching there soon.
They would, I’m sure, like to do a second series, mainly in a “this wasn’t a commissioning mistake” capacity, but even if they did schedule a second one correctly, the show’s got the stench of failure about it now and that’s really hard to get back from. Twenty years ago Survivor outrated Big Brother, but BB was seen as the big success. The more things change.