Real World meets Gilligan on CBS

Rasheed Baqai (
Thu, 7 Oct 1999 22:14:58 -0700 (PDT)


This show concept is a very big surprise for me (at least being something
on CBS).

However..Real World is having its highest ratings ever (with its Hawaii
season). Everyone wants to create the newest talked about program like
ABC's WWTBM (Who Wants to Be..).

Sign yourself up!

Thursday October 7 7:23 PM ET
CBS Network To Strand Contestants Off Borneo
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Call it Lord-of-the-Flies TV.

The CBS television network announced Thursday the launch of a new series
in which 16 volunteers will be marooned together for 49 days on a deserted
tropical island off Borneo.

``Survivor'' adds a competitive twist to the saga -- every three days one
member of the group will be voted off the island by the rest, with the
last person left collecting a prize of $1 million.

``This is part reality soap, part game show, part survival challenge,''
said Mark Burnett, producer of the series, which will air in 13 one-hour
episodes on CBS next summer.

``Everybody at one time has been on that plane and thought, 'God, if we
crash, how would I survive with these people,''' Burnett added. ``This
time they are going to find out.''

``Survivor'' is not a completely new television concept. Similar shows
have proven popular in Sweden and the Netherlands, CBS spokesman Michael
Naidus said. And American series such as MTV's ``Real World'' have scored
ratings by putting real people in odd situations.

But the new show -- which is soliciting applications for people hoping to
become one of its castaways -- will take it several steps further by
stranding its volunteer cast on Palau Tiga, an islet in the South China
Sea off the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo.

The island, part of a Malaysian national park, is uninhabited save for
giant monitor lizards, macaque monkeys and jungle bird life.

But life for the show's contestants will be a lot more than an extended
vacation in paradise. Equipped with little beyond ''the basic supplies of
a shipwreck'', the group will be forced to fend for itself in building
shelter, foraging for food, and defending against such dangers as wild
pigs, pythons, and poisonous sea snakes.

And, as in William Golding's famed 1954 novel ``Lord of the Flies,'' in
which a stranded band of schoolboys descends into savagery on a desert
island, the ``Survivor'' cast will be pitted against each other in
``tribal council votes'' that will winnow the group down one by one.

To create added drama a dash of social tension, the program also will
feature mini-contests in which the group competes for such creature
comforts as a pillow or a soft drink.

Burnett, who produces the popular ``Eco-challenge'' TV adventure race into
inhospitable environments, said ``Survivor'' could prove gripping if the
right cast is assembled.

``I hope we get a cop from New York, and maybe a small petty criminal from
some other city...they won't get along,'' Burnett said, musing on possible
casting combinations.

``Maybe there will be a 60-year-old Catholic priest and a 20-year-old
drop-dead (gorgeous) model from Los Angeles...It really will be
'Gilligan's Island,''' he said, referring to the '60s TV comedy about
mismatched castaways.