Gunsmoke lasted 20 years and the original Law & Order lasted the same amount of time. Simpsons has been going on strong for 26 years. 60 Minutes has been on the air since 1968. Yet people forget that Survivor, CBS’ long running reality series has been on the air since 2000.
I have watched since the first episode and Season 33: Millennials vs .Gen X just premiered. Why has it lasted this long? Besides the location, contestants, Jeff Probst, and the twists that keep the show fresh, the reason is that the show is life.
Life, you say? Despite all the physical and mental challenges, the show is about human interaction, it’s about building alliances, it’s about building trust, and it’s about when to make moves to get further in the game. It’s about trying to navigate the backstabbing, the drama, and managing people in your alliance that haven’t eaten a good meal or slept well in weeks.
Working at your business, dealing with your family is the same type of human game that Survivor is all about. Life is like Survivor because you’re dealing with people and you have to make big moves even if those big moves blow up in your face. That’s why the show is a big hit, it’s something that we all can relate to whether we’re athletic or not. I can’t swim, but I understand that the game in simplistic terms is just a game about life, about making relationships and even undoing them to make it further.
So while the locale is nice, the challenges looks great, and the editing of the show is amazing, it’s all about getting 18-20 people from all walks and life and working with and against each other for 39 days with the winner getting $1 million.