'Survivor' U.K. Opens Casting for BBC Show

“Survivor” has officially opened its applications in the U.K.

The Banijay-produced and distributed format will land on the BBC next year — marking the first time the reality adventure format has returned to U.K. shores in more than 20 years.

The casting process has begun, with applications now open until Feb. 24 for anyone over the age of 18 at survivoruk.com. The show is produced by Remarkable Entertainment.

The famous competition series, which is now on its 43rd season in the U.S., maroons members of the public — divided into two groups based around a certain theme — in a far-flung location to play a game of social, mental and physical skill. People must form their own tribal societies and compete in challenges for reward or immunity.

The BBC show, which will be shooting for eight weeks in the Dominican Republic, has a cash prize of £100,000 ($121,000).

The success of the BBC adaptation of “Survivor” will be closely watched given the format flopped in the U.K. in the early 2000s. Broadcast on ITV in 2001 and 2002, “Survivor” failed to capture the public imagination and never brought in the ratings the broadcaster had hoped for compared with the U.S. viewing figures. There were complaints at the time that ITV hadn’t done enough to support the launch of the show — a mistake the BBC won’t likely make. In fact, “Survivor” will be one of the public broadcaster’s most important reality launches of the year alongside other resurrected unscripted shows such as “Gladiators” and “The Osbournes: Home to Roost.”

So far, all we know is that the new season will consist of 16 episodes and feature 20 contestants. Variety understands that discussions are currently underway to secure the show’s all-important host, which plays a crucial guiding role in the format.

Created by Charlie Parsons, “Survivor” first aired in Sweden in 1997 as “Expedition Robinson,” and travelled to the U.S. on CBS in May 2000, where the Jeff Probst-hosted show quickly became a sensation. Earlier this year, Season 43 was the top unscripted show in primetime on CBS and the number one unscripted show on Wednesday nights with 7.3 million viewers on average.

Around 50 adaptations and 350 series in total have been commissioned globally to date.

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