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This Day in Pop Culture for May 31

Survivor: Borneo Cast

2000: Survivor Airs for the First Time

The CBS reality TV show, Survivor aired its very first program on this day in 2000. Based on the Swedish TV series, Expedition Robinson which premiered in 1997, the goal of the players is to “outwit, outplay and outlast” the other competitors while living on an isolated island with no provided food, water or shelter. Survivor:Borneo was one of the first reality competition series where members took a vote on who should be sent home each week. While now everyone is familiar with the show, at the time, people weren’t too sure what to think of it. However, by the second week, the show gained over 18 million viewers. 63-year-old Sonja Christopher from Walnut Creek, California has the distinction of becoming the first person ever to have their torch snuffed out by Jeff Probst. That season also featured Dr. Sean Kenniff who was the first and last contestant to vote people off the island alphabetically. Even so, he was the fifth member booted out when the tribe had spoken. By the finale on August 23, 2000, the show received its highest ratings ever with 51.7 million viewers. Alternative lifestyle and nudist, Richard Hatch was crowned the first season’s winner of the million dollar prize. The show celebrated its 40th season of the show earlier this year. 

Birthdays

  • 1857: Pope Pius XI
  • 1898: Norman Vincent Peale (pastor)
  • 1908: Don Ameche (actor)
  • 1930: Clint Eastwood (actor)
  • 1943: Sharon Gless (actress)
  • 1943: Joe Namath (football player)
  • 1946: Ted Baehr (film critic)
  • 1949: Tom Berenger (film producer)
  • 1950: Gregory Harrison (actor)
  • 1961: Lea Thompson (actress)
  • 1965: Brooke Shields (actress)
  • 1967: Phil Keoghan (TV host)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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