Residents React to Survivor Shake-Up

It may be one of the most talked about debuts of any television show, and it's still two weeks away. The latest season of Survivor will divide Asians, Hispanics, African Americans and Caucasians into separate tribes.

The show's creators say it's an effort to try something different, and the buzz has long since begun.

Survivor's main players say it's a concept they just stumbled upon.

"We realized maybe what we should do is have four groups, not integrate them, start out with Asian Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians, start the game that way knowing at a certain point, we will merge and integrate," said host Jeff Probst. "And what will happen?"

"I don't know," said Charles Lloyd. "It goes against progress that we're trying to make as far as healing racism and that sort of thing."

And two weeks before an episode ever airs, that appears to be the overwhelming initial reaction.

"We've come a long way in this country getting away from racial problems that still exist," said Jeff Bronson. "People are very sensitive about it."

"What is a color," asked Ruby Wilson. "A color doesn't have anything. It's what's from your heart."

At the heart of this segregation decision in the minds of many are the quest for the almighty ratings point.

"The only thing they're worried about is ratings," said Daniel Nechar. "They're not worried about who wins this or that. They're just worried about who has the highest ratings."

"People thrive off of drama these days. Everybody loves drama, and if you segregate people like that, it's going to cause the drama that people want to see on television these days."

But with all the bemoaning of the concept, it is all but certain to draw viewers.

"I don't watch Survivor, but now, if it was that way, I probably would watch it just to see why they're doing that," said Natalie Fletcher.

"Well, I was shocked when I first heard about it, but now, I think it's going to be a good idea, something different, something new," said regular viewer Lenice Hawkins. "Don't knock it before you try it. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Tune in and watch."

Survivor took a hit today from one of its advertisers. Although they are denying removing their ads because of the format changes, General Motors will no longer air ads during the show.

"Survivor: Cook Islands" premiers Thursday, September 14th on KBTX.


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