BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 21:12 GMT 22:12 UK
Survivor proves a TV dinosaur
Survivor contestants
Audiences did not "connect with the contestants"
By BBC News Online's Darren Waters

In the end, Survivor proved to be a dinosaur.

A confusing mix of traditional reality TV elements and games straight out of It's a Knockout, Survivor did not prove an attractive package for viewers who could not care less who would walk away with the million-pound prize.

Before the programme started, ITV bombarded our screens with trails and was clearly hoping to engender the same kind of excitement as was seen in the United States where 52 million people watched the series finale.

At a cost of about 9m ITV was gambling on success and we were promised the ultimate in reality TV gameshows.

Fourteen cameras, helicopters, cranes and underwater cameras were are all employed to bring the 40 days of life on the island to the screen.

Battered

It was to be an epic gameshow and we the viewers would be enthralled by the battle for supremacy on the island. As we were told - you don't win, you survive.

But the programme lost more than 1.5 million viewers in a matter of weeks and was being battered in the ratings by The Weakest Link on BBC One.

The media was quick to compare the show with the second series of Big Brother, which attracted less viewers but crucially won the lion's share of tabloid coverage.

Unlike Big Brother which focuses on relationships with the housemates and the tittle tattle of every day life viewers were not given much opportunity to build a relationship with the contestants.

Badly executed

In-between sumptuous, lingering shots of South China Sea sunsets, the 16 contestants blurred into an homogenous mass.

It's hard to care about a gameshow when you don't care who wins.

The games devised to hold our attention were poorly thought out and badly executed. It is a poor assessment of a game show when the most memorable moment consisted of timing how long the contestants could stand on a log.

But there were elements in the programme that could have been built on - it had plenty of back-biting and in-fighting, and even romance, yet the programme's editors smothered the human interest stories beneath layers of meaningless games and tasks.

The programme did become more interesting as time went by, but too late to save it from ignominy.

Survivor is destined only for extinction.


Background

Viewpoints

The US series

FROM BBC ONLINE

TALKING POINT
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes