Survivor Season 39 Reveals A Major Change To The Storytelling

jeff probst survivor host cbs
(Image credit: CBS)

Survivor is the reality show that just keeps on showing, and Season 39 is only weeks away from premiering on CBS. The series has stuck around so long because of its ability to reinvent itself time and time again despite having the same basic format, and fans can expect some fresh changes when Survivor: Island of the Idols kicks off.

Longtime executive producer and host Jeff Probst spoke out about what to expect and what's going to be different in Season 39, saying this:

We've changed our storytelling dramatically. We're going through much deeper dives. The culture is going through a major shift right now, especially with gender. Let's just go and find interesting people and see where it leads us. It sounds like what we always do, where we sit down and ask ourselves, 'What is it we do again? Why do we we want people on this show?' We have a new [casting] team in place, and we've come up with the most diverse cast we've ever had, no compare. Even the cast noticed it when they were all together at Ponderosa and we met with them. They all said: 'Oh my god. There are so many different people from so many different walks of life.'

The contestants may be battling it out with each other to try and win the top prize, but things will be different. A new casting team has put together the "most diverse cast" of the show, and that's saying something for a show that has already run for 38 seasons. Perhaps most interesting is Jeff Probst's comment to THR that "even the cast noticed it," considering one of the other ways Island of the Idols will be different from previous seasons of Survivor.

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On Survivor: Island of the Idols, two former Survivor legends are returning, but they won't be competing again. Instead, they'll be on Fiji to give tips and advice to the actual contestants. Yes, Survivor is bringing back Sandra Diaz-Twine and Boston Rob Mariano as mentors to the new and diverse group of contestants.

Boston Rob Mariano and Sandra Diaz-Twine survivor island of the idols cbs

(Image credit: CBS)

Between them, Boston Rob Mariana and Sandra Diaz-Twine have played more than 200 days of Survivor, so their knowledge could be key to the success of the 20 new castaways. Throughout the 39 days of the competition, castaways will have the chance to visit the Island of the Idols, where they will learn skills and strategies from two people who already proved they know how to handle the stress and challenges of Survivor.

Of course, there will be twists along the way. Contestants can't just visit the Island of the Idols whenever they want to, but some will have the opportunity in various ways. They'll have to choose whether they should put the knowledge they gain to the test for potential advantages or run the risk of losing something very important.

Find out how Sandra Diaz-Twine and Boston Rob Mariana function as mentors to the diverse group of new castaways when Survivor: Island of the Idols premieres on Wednesday, September 25 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. The premiere will be a special 90-minute episode and hit the airwaves on a competitive night in the fall TV lineup, so if you're not already scheduled to spend the night in the Chicago universe, Survivor could be the way to go!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).