Here It Is:'s 'Survivor' FAQ File

  • Share
  • Read Later
On Wednesday night the nation will find out the winner. How has CBS been able to keep the secret this long?

Non-disclosure agreements worth a $4 million lawsuit, and former KGB agents in the highest level of the p.r. department. It is now expected that most of the flacks at the network will be offered staff posts in the next presidential administration, so tight and well-perceived has been their operation during this "long national daydream."

How come all the young beautiful people got voted off?

That would be the "reality" portion of the program. Plus, the casting was not left solely to advertisers, as is commonplace on the WB, but was actually supervised by members of the creative team. Thus, some old and ugly people were bound to slip through.

When will political writers and other media types stop using "Survivor" as an all-purpose jokey metaphor for national affairs?

Don't rush us.

Isn't calling Kelly, Rich, Rudy and Susan the Final Four an insult to the college basketball tournament?

The real Final Four should get such ratings. In fact, NCAA officials are hoping to benefit from the additional publicity-by-association. Plus, they're both reality-TV shows on CBS. The network's lawyers were able to hammer something out with each other.

Will it ever be this good again?

No. "Survivor II," set in the Australian Outback and airing in January, will have none of the novelty and innocence that made the first one oddly affecting. Plus, everyone will be walking around naked, in the hopes of becoming as famous as Richard will be, so the whole show will be blurry.

What's the Next Big Thing?

There isn't one. In a season or two, the nation may be ready to enjoy "Jailbreak," about a bunch of people breaking out of a makeshift prison (really). All who escape will have to split the money, so too much teamwork costs. This is when the castaway genre begins to turn America into savages.

How much money has CBS made from "Survivor"?

Not as much as they could have if they'd seen this coming and milked advertisers from the start. But ads for the last hour are going for $600,000, and the whole three-hour extravaganza, with a trumped-up reunion after the finale, could pull in $17 million alone.

Will the devil ever show up to claim Leslie Moonves's and Mark Burnett's promised souls?

The devil always does. And he'll be bearded, plump, gay and naked. The pope, tuning in to the heavily publicized exchange on national television, will declare the apocalypse nigh.

Will Richard go to hell for his tactics?

See above.

Who wins?

Rudy, thus instantly undoing all CBS' demographic good work. The network's doom is sealed with a single Rudyism, in a muffed Disney World ad: "I'm going to go right home and wash off all this homosexualness."