Expensive prime time BBC show ‘on chopping block’ after dismal ratings

Expensive prime time BBC show ‘on chopping block’ after dismal ratings

Survivor’s future is looking far from certain for series two (Picture: BBC/Remarkable)

A future for BBC reality series Survivor is said to be looking more and more unlikely after plans for a hoped-for second series seemingly ground to a halt.

The programme, which followed 18 ordinary people becoming castaways stranded on a remote desert island, while fighting for survival to win £100,000, returned after more than 20 years off screens in 2023.

Helmed by Joel Dommett, the BBC was hoping for a surefire hit among new fans and nostalgic viewers alike enjoying its tense scenes and brutal challenges.

So much so, the broadcaster forked out a rumoured £30,000,000 on it, and a prime time slot – but it failed with pretty dismal ratings.

However, the application form for contestants for the second series has been removed from the BBC’s Take Part website already, despite submissions reportedly initially being open until February 16.

The show’s website has also added a new note advising that applications for casting are now ‘paused’.

The BBC spent a rumoured £30million on the rebooted reality show, but if failed to draw viewers (Picture: BBC/Remarkable)

‘As things stand, we are not processing or taking any further applications at this time,’ the statement continued.

‘Please check back here for any future updates.’

‘Survivor is pretty much doomed. The chances of it returning are very slim indeed,’ an insider told The Daily Star.

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‘An official announcement is expected to happen within weeks.’

They claimed that the BBC ‘did everything it could to make it a success’, but bosses are reportedly discussing its axe now, after only one series of its rebooted effort.

A BBC spokesperson told the publication: ‘No decision about the future of Survivor has been made.’

The gruelling desert island based competition saw contestants fight for the chance to win £100,000, but applications for the second series have now been ‘paused’ (Picture: BBC/PA)

Comedian Joel, 38, who also hosts The Masked Singer UK, had been hopeful of a second series just last month – but admitted there was a fair bit they would change up upon its return.

‘Fingers crossed… there’s a lot of stuff that we would do slightly differently,’ he told Metro.co.uk when asked if the competition would be back.

‘Like with every first series, it’s hard, so I think a second series would be amazing.

‘Everyone seems to really love it, so I’m excited that – hopefully – [we get to] do another one.’

At the time a BBC source confessed to The Mail on Sunday: ‘It has come as a huge surprise that Survivor is coming back. 

Host Joel Dommett was hopeful of a return just a few weeks ago, although admitted there was ‘a lot of stuff’ they would change (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

‘It is viewed by many within the Beeb as being a very expensive flop and the general view was that it should – and would – be canned.

‘To spend that amount of money on a programme that is watched by such few people surely is a silly way to spend public money.’

The first episode of the Survivor revival, which launched in October last year, attracted just 2.6 million viewers on average, despite airing in the desirable post-Strictly slot of 8.25pm on a Saturday night.

It was around two million viewers fewer than Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel managed the week prior.

Matthew was the Survivor reboot’s first winner in December (Picture: BBC/PA)

David Attenborough’s Planet Earth III was then moved from its Sunday 8pm slot for the second episode of Survivor, which had 2.3 million viewers.

That was still less, however, than a repeat of Antiques Roadshow on BBC2.

Contestants on Survivor were flown out to the Dominican Republic and split into two tribes; they then had to outwit each other and dabble in betrayal to become victorious, going head-to-head as they voted each other out at the tribal council.

The original series was aired in the UK back in 2001 and 2002 on ITV, with the first season presented by Mark Austin and John Leslie.

Metro.co.uk has contacted the BBC for comment.

Survivor is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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