REALITY SURVIVAL SHOWS
Survivor TV Series
Survivor is an American version of the Survivor reality television game show, itself derived from the Swedish television series Expedition Robinson originally created in 1997 by Charlie Parsons, and first broadcast in May 2000. Mark Burnett produces the American series. Its host is the former game show emcee and news reporter, Jeff Probst. The CBS television network broadcasts the premier run of each season, and syndication to other cable networks follows. Russ Landau composed the theme song.
The show maroons a group of strangers (as one or more tribes) in a desolate locale, where they must provide food, water, fire, and shelter for themselves, while competing in challenges to earn either a reward, or an immunity from expulsion from the game in the next of the successive votes for elimination. While much rarer than elimination by vote, medical conditions, such as injury or infection, have eliminated several contestants. The last two or three survivors face a jury comprising the last seven, sometimes nine, players voted off. That jury interrogates the final few, and then votes for the winner of the title of Sole Survivor and a million dollar prize.
The American version has been very successful. From the 2000-2001 through the 2005-2006 television seasons its first eleven seasons (competitions) rated amongst the top ten most watched shows. It is commonly considered the mother of American reality TV because it was the first highly-rated and profitable reality show on broadcast television in the USA.
The current and nineteenth season, Survivor: Samoa, premiered on CBS on Thursday, September 17, 2009. Probst has signed a contract to host the show through its twentieth season. This 10th Anniversary edition of the show was also filmed in Samoa and is speculated to be another "All Stars" season, themed around 'Heroes vs. Villains'
Survivorman is a Canadian-produced television program, broadcast in Canada on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), and internationally on Discovery Channel and Science Channel. The show aired three seasons - 2004, 2007, and 2008.
The title refers to the host of the show, Canadian filmmaker and survival expert Les Stroud, who uses his vast survival skills to survive for up to seven days alone videotaping his adventures in remote locales where he brings with him little or no food, water, or equipment. The fact Stroud spends his time alone without a production crew is a major focus of the show (differentiating it from the similarly themed Man vs. Wild).
During the videotaping of each episode, Stroud is alone and operates all the cameras himself. He is equipped with only his clothes, camera equipment, his harmonica, a Leatherman multi-tool, and often "everyday items" relevant to the episode's particular survival situation or locale. For safety purposes, Stroud carries an emergency satellite phone and normally has daily radio contact with his support crew that is always within rescue range. However, Stroud has stated that while videotaping several episodes, there were times when his emergency phone did not work, leaving him totally alone and has mentioned his concern that his rescue crew may become stranded with him. On a few occasions, Stroud has also been provided with a rifle for safety reasons or as part of the survival situation; In Season 1 Episode 05 - "Canadian Arctic," the local experts he consults insist that because of Polar Bears they would not let him go without a rifle.
Survivorman can be considered a sequel or spin-off to Stroud's earlier project, Stranded, a five-part series that was shown on the Canadian Discovery Channel in 2001.
Les Stroud stopped videotaping Survivorman after the third season due to what he described as the significant physical toll of videotaping each episode. As of fall 2009, reruns are still broadcast on OLN.
Man -vs- Wild
The general format of each episode is the premise that Grylls is left stranded in a region. The episode documents his efforts to survive and find a way back to civilization, usually requiring an overnight shelter of some kind. Bear also tells about successful and failed survivals in the particular area which he is in.
Each episode takes about one week to ten days to shoot. Before each show the crew does about a week of reconnaissance, followed by Bear Grylls doing a flyover of the terrain. Grylls then undergoes two days of intensive survival briefings. "I spend two days on location prior to dropping in – I go through all the safety and comms briefing as well as being briefed on local conditions, and flora and fauna by local rangers and a local bushcraft expert." He is followed on the program by a cameraman and a sound engineer, also with a safety consultant. To show various survival situations, some aspects of the show are staged. Bear Grylls said, "I suppose to bear in mind that this is a worst-case scenario show, and therefore, of course things have to be planned. Otherwise, it would just be me in the wild and nothing happening, you know, ’cause textbook survival says you land, you get yourself comfortable, you wait for rescue, you don’t do anything. It would be a very boring show. The show is how to deal if you fall into quick sand, if you get attacked by an alligator, if you have to make a raft. I get a really good briefing before we go. I know there’s a big river there, there’s gonna be a great cliff climb there, there’s loads of snakes in those rocks, watch out for an alligator. So I do have a good idea of 80 percent of what’s gonna happen." Furthermore, contrary to onscreen presentation, his movements are rarely from Point A to Point B: "We plan it, if we’re doing different locations, sometimes we’ll have to do a whole crew move and get a helicopter. Again, we’re talking huge distances sometimes. So we’ll use helis when we have to. They’ll go out three weeks ahead of me, and go, “That bit’s no good. Those rapids we thought are gonna be good are boring, but down there, it’s great.”"
The Colony is a reality television program. The series was filmed in an industrial area bordering the Los Angeles River on the edge of downtown Los Angeles, and follows ten cast members in an environment that simulates life after a global catastrophe. The series first aired on the Discovery Channel on July 21, 2009. Filming began on February 28, and ran until April 28, 2009.