The decline of Survivor | Gene Expression

I just realized that the American television show [Survivor][1] is now over 10 years old. Though [The Real World][2] had been around for nearly ten years when it premiered in the spring of 2010, _Survivor_ was what triggered the lift-off of the current generation of “reality television.” I haven’t watched it since season (series) two, so I was curious what was going on with it. It looks like it’s been in [long-term ratings decline][3]. The host received a [one year renewal on his contract][4] early this year, instead of the two or four year contracts agreed to in the past.

Here’s the trend in terms of its ranking in the ratings:


And by millions of viewers:


Note the disjunction between the viewers who watched the premier, and those who watched the finale, on the first season. _Survivor Borneo_ became a national phenomenon and built up momentum over the season. The second season, _The Australian Outback_, exhibited the opposite trend. The only outlier after those seasons is the _All-Stars_. Since season two it seems that the franchise has matured and is now slowly decaying into cultural and ratings irrelevance, though it’s had a very long run.


[1]: [2]: [3]: [4]: [5]: (surv1) [6]: (surv2) [7]:


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