CBS today announced the launch of a new series in which 16 volunteers will be marooned together for 49 days on an uninhabited island off Borneo.
"Survivor" adds a competitive twist to the saga--every three days one of the group will be voted off the island by the rest, with the last person left collecting a $1 million prize.
"This is part reality soap, part game show, part survival challenge," said Mark Burnett, producer of the series, which will air in 13 one-hour episodes on CBS next summer.
"Everybody at one time has been on that plane and thought, 'God, if we crash, how would I survive with these people?' " he added. "This time they are going to find out."
"Survivor" is not a new concept. Similar shows have been popular in Sweden and the Netherlands, CBS spokesman Michael Naidus said.
But the show--which is soliciting applications for people hoping to become castaways--will take it several steps further by stranding its cast on Palau Tiga, a Malaysian islet in the South China Sea.
Equipped with little beyond "the basic supplies of a shipwreck," the group will be forced to build shelter, forage for food and defend against wild pigs, pythons and poisonous sea snakes. And the cast will be pitted against each other in "tribal council votes" that will winnow the group down one by one.