There are long-running reality competition shows, and then there’s Survivor. The CBS series changed the TV world forever when it debuted back in 2000, and is still running strong. Case in point: Survivor got an Emmy nomination last season for the first time in years. Season 45 has been pretty wild, and it recently thrilled fans by bringing back Survivor’s famous auction, which was missing for eight years. Host/showrunner Jeff Probst says the auction is here to stay, but there’s a caveat.
The newest episode of Survivor saw the auction return to the show, and in a big way. Everything about this challenge was changed, from how contestants acquired money to the consequences of hoarding your cash for too long. It ended up being a thrilling episode of television, so naturally fans are wondering if we’ll see more of the auction in future installments. On the official Survivor podcast On Fire, Probst spoke about why it’s staying, although he admits that it’s largely depending on factors like continued longer episodes. In his words:
Absolutely. I will say it's a lot of work for us and it requires 90 minutes because it really is a big auction, so it's probably not going to be every season. But I do think the format works. I think it's repeatable. That's one of the things you look for in a twist is: Could we do this again? And in this case, yeah, now everybody knows the rules, but it doesn't change anything. There's still the variables of money and the number of items and the loss of a vote.
There you have it. It looks like Survivor will keep the auction 2.0, which has the ability to be fresh every year given its new set of rules. But given how much screen time they take, its return was influenced by Survivor having 90 minute episodes this season.
Luckily for fans hoping to see the auction again sooner rather than later, CBS has announced that both Amazing Race and Survivor will continue with 90-minute episodes. So hopefully we’ll see it back for Season 46, complete with the castaways scrambling to find money in their camp. During the new episode of On Fire, Jeff Probst spoke about why the auction had to be dropped for so long, saying:
We did feel we had broken it, and we broke it by introducing advantages, which did work for a while and gave us some great moments, but then the players wisely started to hold onto their money until an advantage came up. And that was kind of the end of the auction.
This season has already been a wild ride, and the auction wasn’t the only beloved part of Survivor that returned. Fans were finally treated to the full theme song returning, another benefit of the longer episodes. But Survivor 45 also broke new ground with the first flash forward of the franchise’s history. Clearly things are changing for the beloved competition series.
Of course, Jeff Probst has also admitted being frustrated this season, thanks to multiple castaways quitting the game in fast succession. So much so that a new rule has been added that quitter don’t get to have their torch ceremoniously snuffed by the belove host and producer.