Thursday, January 11, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 11, 2001

'Survivor II' tougher, says show official

Associated Press

On the Web:

PASADENA, Calif. — "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch wouldn’t stand a chance if matched against the 16 players in the game’s second edition, say the people who put the show together.

"Richard’s strategy and Richard’s plan worked because the others were asleep at the wheel," said Mark Burnett, "Survivor" executive producer, at a press conference for TV critics meeting here. "In this situation, no one was asleep at the wheel."

That’s a byproduct of the reality show’s stunning success last summer. Another was the deal CBS announced Tuesday with Burnett to produce the third and fourth "Survivor" editions.

Producers are scouting sites in the Amazon River region of South America and in Africa for the show’s third round, scheduled for the fall.

The second edition, set in the Australian Outback, begins airing its 14-week season after the Super Bowl on Jan. 28.

About 6,000 people applied for the first "Survivor." For the second one, Burnett and his staff sifted through 49,000 applications — and left about 10,000 more unopened that had missed the deadline.

Eliminated immediately were the people who clearly just wanted to be on television. Burnett said he wanted adventure-seeking contestants ready to rough it who would play even if the game wasn’t televised.

"The level of suffering in this season would make you want to cry," he said.

The second "Survivor" will make no mention of the first one, or the contestants who became instant celebrities. But, clearly, the 16 people in the Australian game studied the strategies of their predecessors, he said.

And, clearly, it didn’t matter.

"It was a great lesson about human behavior," Burnett said. "Even when the people had great strategies and great plans, they still messed it up."

CBS disclosed few details of its agreement with Burnett.

The network already had an option for several additional series, but Burnett was looking to sweeten his cut.

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