CBS competition starts its 20th-anniversary year
With the show starting its 20th-anniversary year, it stands to reason “Survivor” would want to mark the occasion in a special way.
To that end, 20 past winners of the award-winning CBS competition — which did much to make the reality-show genre a programming staple — are brought back to compete in the 40th season, aptly subtitled “Winners at War” and starting Wednesday, Feb. 12. Underscored by a “Survivor” retrospective special shown a week earlier, host Jeff Probst (also an executive producer of the series) is so familiar with the encoring participants who vie to “outwit, outplay and outlast” each other to claim the $2 million grand prize, he probably had most of his homework done for the new round simply by outlasting the earlier seasons himself.
It must be noted some of the returnees date back to almost the beginning of “Survivor,” and even though their earlier stints ended in victory, each one’s own game may have changed considerably over the better part of two decades. Also, those who have returned for special “All-Stars” or “Fans vs. Favorites” editions already have found that “Survivor” itself has progressed from its early days, adopting such aspects as rule changes and ever more complex challenges in strategy and physicality.