Earlier today, CBS President Les Moonves announced that with the Fall 2004 season, there would be some "big changes" to the format of their wildly popular "Survivor" program. CBS announced earlier this year that it would be airing the 8th Survivor, "Survivor All Stars" starting in February 2004, but had previously not commented on tryouts for a new cast when the fall season premiers. Today, Moonves broke the silence by announcing tryouts in 12 major U.S. Cities for the upcoming 9th Survivor, to be titled "Survivor Detroit".
"We need to be more competitive with other reality shows," Moonves said, "we can't risk just sitting by and thinking that because Survivor is the most popular reality show out there, that it will continue to be. We have to be innovative; we have to be willing to take chances, to tweak the format to keep the show fresh. And we need to know what has been working for the viewer. At the same time, we feel we are keeping with the Survivor theme, as with any other location, the contestants will have to deal with such dangers as insects and parasites, Detroit has these in abundance, but in Detroit the contestants will have to deal with the dangers of gangs and crack whores. It just adds a level of excitement to the program that we've been missing, and to be honest, it will save CBS a ton of money on airfare."
In an official press release, CBS stated that it felt that Survivor was so successful because it was the ultimate fish out of water story, but that people were beginning to grow weary of the stranded on a deserted island theme, and were longing for something a bit closer to home. Enter "Survivor Detroit". The concept behind this installment is that 16 middle class contestants from suburban America will be dropped in the heart of Detroit. There they will face several Detroit themed "immunity challenges". Contestants will have to perform one of more of the following tasks:
- Entering a freestyle rap contest and performing an off the cuff rap while wearing an "Eminem Sucks" T-Shirt.
- Walking unarmed through random alleys while fanning themselves with a wad of $100 bills, shouting "Bling Bling, Suckas!" at the top of their lungs.
- Popping by Ted Nugent's house unannounced in an effort to raise funds for PETA.
Contestants will be dropped off with very little cash and no place to stay, however CBS operatives promise that there will be ample shelter available, due to the large incidence of burned out meth labs, fire bombed crack houses and boarded up businesses in the area to which the contestants will be bussed. There is even speculation that there may be a co-operative crossover in the works here, as there has been talk of TLC's "Trading Spaces" coming to meet with the castaways. Presumably, the two tribes would each pick a vacant building, and with a budget of only $1,000, each tribe would "re-decorate" the other tribe's living space over the course of a weekend.