In HitFix's new feature "Waxing Episodic," we reflect on an episode of television we'll never forget.
On May 31, 2000, I watched the premiere of "Survivor."
I was edgy.
At that point, the "Survivor" audience was just me and 15.5 million of my fellow early adapters. The next week, the "Survivor" audience went to 18 million and then to 23.25 million. Before "Empire" made our minds boggle at the mere idea of a show actually gaining viewers each week, there was "Survivor," which started with a 6.1 rating among adults 18-49 and was at a 12.7 rating by its penultimate installment.
[I actually missed that first finale, which averaged nearly 52 million viewers, because I was in the process of moving to Los Angeles. Nobody tell me who won!]
Last week's 15th anniversary marked a good time to dust off my "Survivor" (or "Survivor: Borneo" or "Survivor: Pulau Tiga") DVDs and our frequent -- when we happen to have the time -- "Waxing Episodic" feature was a perfect time to reflect on how the game has changed and how it remains the same.
I contemplated doing a recap of "The Marooning" in the format that I've utilized, twisted and refined since Season 18 here at HitFix and in a scattered and inconsistent stretch of previous seasons at Zap2it, but I very quickly realized that that would serve no real purpose. "Survivor" as it began was an awful lot like the "Survivor" we know today, but not in any ways that would have benefitted from a traditional Fienberg-style recap touching on the major plot points, the strategic arcing and the Bottom Line take-aways.