Q: Tell us about how you gained interest in hosting shows?
Jeff Probst: I always wanted to tell stories. I ended up getting in front of the camera, in this case as a host, because it allowed me to have a voice in telling the story. It wasn’t a goal so much as part of the journey. And it’s become a role that I enjoy. I like being a guide for the audience.
Q: People identify you only with Survivor. Does that make you feel good or bad?
JP: That’s funny, but I know what you mean. It makes me feel great to be associated with Survivor because I have put so much of my heart and my soul into the show. I care deeply about making the show great and the team we have out in the jungle is just as committed as I am to producing entertaining seasons. Maybe I should just wear blue safari shirts every day!
Q: The show is currently in the 35th season. What is the secret to keep it going and keep it interesting?
JP: It’s a tricky thing — you want to do the same thing every season — only different! You have to stay true to the original format of strangers forced to work together while voting each other out, while adding twists to keep it fresh. It doesn’t sound like much, but those little tweaks are the things that keep us up at night trying to figure out!
Q: What do you think is the unique selling point of the show?
JP: There is no other show like Survivor. It’s the reason that people who are loyal fans never miss an episode. You can’t get this fix anywhere else.
Q: We heard that a nine year old designed a challenge for one particular episode. How did that happen? Who usually designs the challenges? ?
JP: That’s true! It was a really fun idea and we loved including an idea from a young fan. We have a challenge department and their job is to continue to find new ways to challenge our contestants! They spend a great part of the year figuring out the idea and then how to execute it.
Q: What do you expect to see this season?
JP: This season is going to test three very different types of people: heroes, healers and hustlers. I think fans will be fascinated watching the different approaches to the game. I loved this season. It’s a fun ride all the way to the finish!
Q: What did you feel when you received the Emmy Awards? JP: Receiving an acknowledgement from your peers for your work is quite rewarding. We’ve been lucky to win a few Emmys in different categories.
Q: Do you look to host shows apart from Survivor? JP: If something really struck me as fun as this, then I’d be open to it . I’m pretty satisfied for the moment with Survivor.
(AXN airs the reality TV show Survivor in India)