Survivor host Jeff Probst on using social media to join the ‘global conversation’

survivor-jeff-probstThe Jeff Probst-hosted reality series Survivor launched in 2000 and is now in its 22nd season. Probst is more than just a host, however. Since the early days of the series, he has guided the show’s development, and in recent years has pushed to establish a strong presence in the social media landscape. He established the @JeffProbst Twitter account in 2008 and offers regular updates on what’s happening behind the scenes at his website, He’s been writing a weekly post-episode blog on the site all through this season and live tweets through both the East and West coast airing of the show every Wednesday night.

Probst sat down recently for an interview with TechCrunch in which he discusses the growing social push for Survivor and the efforts he’s put into making that happen. “I’m fascinated by the major shift taking place that allows for truly global conversation with people all over the world,” he explained. “ offered the opportunity to own my content and also provided the ability for me to take control of my voice and not have to rely on other outlets to accurately convey the things I want to share.”

Probst credits the weekly live tweets, which have been enormously successful, to radio shock jock Howard Stern, who inspired the move after he tweeted his way through a weekend viewing of his 1997 biopic, Private Parts. The Survivor host saw this, and immediately spotted an opportunity.

“I wanted to continue the conversation and give [fans] more of what they crave, which is behind-the-scenes information and personal insight,” he said. “In addition, I learn valuable information about what is and is not working for the show. It’s a very satisfying, albeit time consuming, effort.

“I think Twitter is just another amazing step in the ongoing transition that will change so much of how we communicate as a world. Twitter will not be the final frontier but Twitter and Facebook are definitely the pioneers.”

Probst puts varying amounts of time into the show each week when it is airing, between the weekly blogs and the live tweets. While he hopes that efforts such as this will eventually grow into a larger dialog, become part of what he calls a “global conversation,” there is one thing that keeps him coming back week after week, even when he has an opportunity to simply sit back and watch the finished product unfold.

“The study of human nature,” he said of the show’s continuing appeal. “It’s endlessly fascinating to me. Why we do what we do. Justifying our ethics. All of it. I learn so much about myself through others.”

It’s a lengthy interview, and one — Survivor fan or not — that is definitely worth checking out. And seriously: if you’re not a fan because you’ve never seen the show, give it a chance. It’s less a reality series in the traditional sense and more a game show with a long-term focus. With or without the growing social media elements, the past few seasons in particular have continued to raise the bar on what qualifies as good TV.


From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Kanye West wants to meet ‘Metal Gear Solid’ creator Hideo Kojima, for some reason

Rapper Kanye West wants to meet video game designer Hideo Kojima in New York. Nobody knows the reason behind the meeting, but fans are speculating that it may have something to do with Death Stranding for the PlayStation 4.
Movies & TV

Our first look at 'The Punisher' season 2 hints at January 2019 premiere

The Punisher is getting a second season on Netflix, with Jon Bernthal returning to play Marvel Comics' gun-toting antihero, Frank Castle. Here's everything we know about season 2 of The Punisher so far.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma, ‘Sabrina’ special

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Alfonso Cuaron's new film Roma, Jim Henson's classic fantasy The Dark Crystal, and more.

‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ breaks records, ‘Mortal Engines’ sputters

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse webbed up a winning weekend as the top movie in theaters, earning $35.4 million and setting a new record for animated features premiering in December.
Movies & TV

Move over Superman, Aquaman is here to save DC's live-action cinema universe

DC Comics' aquatic superhero Aquaman finally gets his solo feature with Jason Momoa in the title role, and director James Wan's adventure manages to avoid feeling waterlogged while offering up some amazing visuals and intense action.

Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (January 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in December 2018 and January 2019, from new original series to classic…
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.