CBS is squeezing every last ounce out of its runaway hit Survivor — and who can blame them?
Not only is the grand finale running for two hours, but Early Show host Bryant Gumbel will also host a post-finale town hall meeting right after the million-dollar winner is revealed.
The hourlong special, which is being called Survivor: The Reunion, will be broadcast live before a studio audience at CBS’s Television City next Wednesday (10-11 p.m. EDT; tape-delayed on the West Coast).
Even Greg Buis, the “Ivy League graduate” who refused to do any publicity after being voted off the island, is scheduled to attend.
CBS is interested in garnering reaction from the 16 former castaways — who’ll watch the finale together — and from the rapt public via a quickie poll during the broadcast.
For even more interactivity, CBS will cut to all those island-themed Survivor parties across the country. Expect a run on tiki torches and coconut shells at nearby stores.
To keep the momentum going for Survivor II, host Jeff Probst will file a teaser from the site of the next competition: the Australian outback.
Of course, the eye network will make the most of its Survivor ratings spillover on The Early Show next week. Gumbel will report from the reunion show set in Los Angeles next Wednesday and Thursday, and the final four castaways (Sue, Rich, Rudy, and Kelly) will show up Thursday.
And to top it all off, Gloria Gaynor will appear Wednesday to perform her anthem I Will Survive — which is currently also the theme song of those lovable losers in The Replacements.
Of course, not all Gloria’s lyrics (“I learned how to get along,” for example) apply to the squabbling Survivor bunch, but hey, maybe we'll see Rich’s crazy fire dance set to the ageless disco tune. Aaaaugggh!
Reuters/Variety contributed to this story.