In this installment of “22 Minutes,” 1010 WINS anchor Brigitte Quinn sits down with “Survivor” host, producer, filmmaker, and author Jeff Probst.
Probst discussed the show’s humble beginnings, the latest season of “Survivor” in Cambodia, and how his life has been over the last 16 years as a show host.
BQ: Time Magazine lists “Survivor” as one of the “100 Greatest TV Shows Of All Time.” Does it feel like 16 years?
JP: It really doesn’t. In fact, someone asked me the other day, “How does your life feel different? from the beginning of ‘Survivor’?” and I said, ‘Gosh, such a weird thing.’ Because it actually doesn’t feel different at all, this just feels like my life. It’s been so much a part of my life; it doesn’t feel like it’s changed my life as much as it is my life. I mean, I live half the year on an island watching humans behave with this dangling carat of a million dollars.
BQ: The crew has expanded over the years, right?
JP: When you and I met, I think our crew was 85 total and we’re now around 400. We bring in a lot of local labor because they’re really skilled craftsmen… we want the show to be authentic to that culture, and also we want to bring money into that culture. In exchange for them letting us drop in on their island, we like to leave behind a lot of money so that their lives can prosper as well.
BQ: Do you get a veto? Do you get to say, “Gee, I don’t think that person will be so good?” because you’ve seen these people come and go for years as the consistent host?
JP: I think we have a really good team. CBS has given me a big voice for a long time, and I definitely have impact. We all look to each other. There tends to be a consensus pretty quickly of “they should be on, they should not be.”
BQ: Have the controversies of the show helped or hurt?
JP: Well, I think it’s really interesting to go back to the very first season and the very first winner. We ended up with two people; there was this young river guide Kelly and this villain, Richard. And we were all crossing our fingers that Kelly would win. You want a hero to win. Richard won. We went “Oh my god, our show is doomed.” Wait a minute… 72 million people are screaming “he won, he won!” And that set the tone. This is an equal opportunity game. It doesn’t mean nice people win.
About Jeff Probst:
Jeff Probst is a four-time Emmy Award winner for “Outstanding Reality Host.” He has traveled the world serving as both host and executive producer for “Survivor.” Also, he received an Emmy in 2001 when the show won the first-ever “Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class).” Probst is a New York Times best-selling author of a kid’s adventure series, STRANDED. Probst is also a feature film director. In 2002, he wrote and directed “Finder’s Fee,” starring Ryan Reynolds, James Earl Jones, Robert Forster and Matthew Lillard. Most recently, he produced and directed the feature film “Kiss Me,” starring John Corbett, Sarah Bolger, Rita Wilson, Emily Osment, Missy Pyle and Jenna Fisher.
About Brigitte Quinn:
Brigitte anchors mornings at 1010 WINS radio and has worked in broadcasting for more than thirty years. She was a TV anchor at the Fox News Channel, MSNBC and NBC. She holds an MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BS from Cornell University. Her first novel, “Anchored” was published in 2015.
Follow Brigitte Quinn @BrigitteQuinn11