Now that the World Health Organization has officially declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, CBS executives have paused the production of “Survivor,” according to a Wednesday report from Deadline.
“Due to concerns and uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19 globally, CBS and the producers of Survivor have taken the precautionary measure to delay production on the 41st season, which was set to begin filming later this month in Fiji,” a CBS spokesperson said in a statement. “Pending worldwide events, the plan is to return to production on May 19th. The health and safety of the castaways and production members is our top priority.”
A separate notice from “Survivor” executive producer and host Jeff Probst was reportedly sent to the cast and crew who were set to work on the 41st season starting March 24.
“Though Fiji has no reported cases and is beautifully remote, our crew numbers over 400 and are flying in from over 20 different countries, creating a need for more time to fully analyze and create our new production safety plan,” Probst wrote.
The postponement comes days after CBS shut down production for its globetrotting competition show, “The Amazing Race,” after filming three episodes.
CBS isn’t the only network that is facing production difficulties surrounding the coronavirus. ABC’s “The Bachelor” recently required live studio audiences to sign health waivers that said participants are coronavirus-free. Popular game shows like “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” are filming without live audiences – quite possibly to ensure the health of hosts Pat Sajak and Alex Trebek.
In the meantime, CBS is airing its 40th season of “Survivor: Winners at War.”
There have been over 124,660 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the globe, according to the COVID-19 live tracker from Johns Hopkins.