Survivor the Reality TV Show History

Survivor the reality TV show has survived and evolved through 18 seasons since it was first broadcast in the United States in 2000. Survivor continues to be one of the most popular reality TV shows, losing fans and drawing in new ones with every single season.

How did Survivor begin?
While Survivor was first broadcast in the United States in 2000, its history goes back almost another decade before that. In 1992, Charlie Parsons, a UK reality show guru, created the format for Survivor. Survivor first aired in 1997 on Swedish networks, and it was titled Expedition: Robinson. It wasn't until 2000 that the United States aired its own version of Survivor, and it became a huge ratings success. Funnily enough, Survivor didn't do well in the UK, and it was something of a national joke, although it became a long-running series in the United States.

Survivor was initially created as Castaway in the UK, but the BBC decided to produce its own Survivor-style show, calling it Castaway 2000. When Bob Geldof, Charlie Parsons and Waheed Alli sold Planet 24, the company under which Survivor was originally created, they transferred the rights for Survivor to a new company, which they called Castaway Television Productions. Castaway still manages the format for Survivor today.

Survivor comes to the United States.
Survivor was first broadcast in the United States in May 2000, and it instantly became a hit series. Produced by Mark Burnett and emceed by Jeff Probst, Survivor features a game where contestants compete to win a $1,000,000 prize.

The competition is set in tropical locations with primitive amenities, and it is, as the title indicates, a survival-style show where teams must work together as tribes to gather food, build shelter and compete in challenges for various prizes. Ultimately, one contestant is voted off the show each week, until only one remains to claim the prize.

From 2000 to 2006, Survivor was one of the top 10 most watched shows on television. Survivor continues to attract large audiences, although it no longer ranks in the top 10.

Survivor through the years.
In order to maintain viewer interest, Survivor producers add twists and changes to the format each season. The original season followed the Swedish format, but subsequent seasons have included a range of twists to prevent players from coming into the competition with an advantage. The twists are designed to force players to create new strategies and adapt to different challenges than they've seen in previous shows.

Notable Survivor events.
Season 2: Survivor: The Australian Outback.
Contestant Michael Skupin was burned and had to be evacuated, making him the first person in Survivor to be evacuated for medical reasons. Season 2 was the most watched season.

Season 4: Survivor: Marquesas.
The first season in which the finalists were all women, and the only season that used the Purple Rock tie breaker.

Season 6: Survivor: The Amazon.
The first male versus female season also included Christy Smith, a deaf contestant who was the first person with a disability to compete on the show.

Season 7: Survivor: Pearl Islands.
The only season in which eliminated players returned to the game, in the form of the Outcast Tribe.

Season 8: Survivor: All Stars.
Former Survivor contestants returned, and Rob Mariano proposed to winner Amber Brkich. 

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