Thursday, February 23, 2012

12 Rating Grabbing Ideas for Survivor

Survivor loves its gimmicks. Now that it has been around for over a decade, it seems to have relied on stunts to "keep the show fresh" and grab those all-important ratings. Recently, we've seen Redemption Island, returning of past castaways, and this season, both tribes sharing the same beach. It looks like Survivor has taken to Samoa being the permanent location, probably due to a combination of cost, politics, and safety. If they can't sell a season on its location (because it is always the same place), then they have to come up with innovative ideas to grab the viewers' attention. Here are 12 ideas I'm pitching to the Survivor producers, and I promise will keep the show a gold mine for years to come.

1. Survivor: Zoo - For the first time ever, the game will allow contestants from outside of America. It will also be the very first time that the tribes will not have the same number of castaways. One tribe will consist of nine American castaways, but the other tribe will consist of a lion, a tiger, a bear, and a crocodile. In another new twist, castaways aren't eliminated by being voted off but rather by being devoured. It will be the most lopsided season ever, and unfortunately, only lasts one episode.

2. Survivor: Not Really Stars - Eighteen castaways that consist of all our "favourite" non celebrities that pollute the airwaves with their reality tripe shows. I'm talking about the Jersey Shore gang, the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, and anyone else that has a "reality soap opera." I'm sure they'll do it if you promise them a small cut in the sponsorship money and also notify them this will be the highest exposure and ratings they've ever got (network TV still slaughters cable TV ratings for the most part). Viewers get to watch the most annoying people in the world as they trap themselves in their own shelters, cry about a bug giving them a "boo boo", knock themselves out trying to open a coconut, complain about how their agent promised bottled water and drown in the ocean. This will also not likely last the usual 14 episodes, but will have the added benefit of killing off an entire infamous part of the reality TV genre.

3. Survivor: Soccer Moms vs. Professional Wrestlers - No explanation necessary, but this needs to happen now.

4. Survivor: Prison Break - Survivor is at its best when it has players who lie, cheat, steal, and backstab. So, why not fill the entire cast with characters who have done all that in their real life. For the first time ever, entire tribes will be filled with convicts. It will also be the first time that someone will literally be backstabbed. It also will only last one episode as the convicts decide they'd rather do a real prison break rather than play the game.

5. Survivor: Divorce Court - This season will be populated entirely of married couples. Except the couples will be split up and be put on opposite tribes, but not necessarily by gender. At the merge, what will Kathy do when she finds out her husband Ron formed a rather tight alliance with 21 year old Stacy? Who is Billy more committed to, his tribe or his wife Sophia? This season will witness the most crumbled and formed relationships in TV history.

6. Survivor: Sweet Revenge - One tribe will consist of nine fit, outdoor survival experts. The other tribe will consist of eight former castaways that at some point got in an argument with the host, Jeff Probst. But who will be the ninth person on that tribe? Well, Jeff Probst. I have a feeling that despite telling other castaways to suck it up or guilt tripping them for quitting, Jeff isn't so tough when he doesn't have a hotel room and bottle of wine to retreat back to at the end of the day. It will be the first time we see Jeff cry on national TV, but hopefully, the season maintains its appeal after Jeff quits halfway through the first episode.

7. Survivor: No Vacation - Eighteen wealthy business executives are told they have won a free vacation to an exotic island and as an added bonus, their exploits will be documented by a camera crew. They quickly learn it isn't the five star resort they expected, but rather a tropical island where they have to catch their own food and build their own shelter. Preferably it is a cast comprised of people who have never watched Survivor. Watch as 280 pound oil tycoon "Big Bucks" Bobby Barns tries to catch a boar for dinner, but ends up hiding in a tree for hours from a rooster. Revel in the craziness as millionaire Arthur gets slugged in the face after too many times asking an African American contestant to "fetch" him a scotch.

8. Survivor: Winners vs. Losers - One tribe is comprised entirely of past winners, and the other tribe consists of former castaways who were voted off first in their season. This is probably the one actual good idea in this entire batch, and I think would be really awesome to watch. It may be way too difficult to get eighteen past castaways with these specific qualifications to return to the show.

9. Survivor: Trek Wars - One tribe is filled with Star Trek fans, and their opposition is a tribe full of Star Wars fans. Watch as half the cast melt due to being exposed to sunlight for the first time in 20 years. The remaining Star Wars tribe implodes over who "shot first", and the Trekkies refuse to continue based off a plot inconsistency in episode one (humans don't melt). May be the lowest rated season ever.

10. Survivor: Jaws - After the castaway is voted off the tribe, they have to swim in a shark infested body of water while wearing a bathing suit made entirely of fish guts. If they're able to get back to the shore with all appendages intact then they can return to their tribe.

11. Survivor: Rock, Paper, Scissors - In a twist that will change how the game is played forever, the losing tribe won’t go to tribal council but instead must compete in a Rock, Paper, Scissors competition. The person who loses the most rounds is eliminated from the game. When the tribes finally merge, they will battle with real rocks, paper, and scissors, and we will find out what really wins.

12. Survivor: Nuclear Fall Out - In the most controversial season ever, the producers drop an atomic bomb on the islands inhabited by the two tribes. The survivors from the bomb will them compete in the game for one millions dollars. If there are no survivors, then the season will broadcast Mark Burnett's crimes against humanity trial.

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