After the finale airs Wednesday, Dec. 18, fans will be happy to know that Survivor Season 40 will premiere Feb. 12, 2020 with a two-hour episode, per the Hollywood Reporter. Then, on Feb. 19, it will continue airing in its usual time slot: Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST. And as it's the 20th anniversary of the show, Season 40 is bound to be even more epic than Island of the Idols.
After Wednesday's nail-biting Season 39 finale (the winner for which can be found here), CBS announced that its upcoming season would be titled Winners at War (which had already been rumored) and would feature 20 Survivor champions. These will include Season 39 mentors Sandra Diaz-Twine and Boston Rob Mariano (not to mention his wife, Amber Mariano, whom he met on the show). But that's not all: According to the season teaser, the Winners at War prize will be the biggest in reality show history: $2 million.
As for Island of the Idols, this season of Survivor has not been without its controversies. Contestant Dan Spilo was accused of inappropriately touching his co-star, Kellee Kim, per Entertainment Weekly. After Kim asked him to stop, and he allegedly continued doing so, Spilo was given an official warning on Day 22, the article reported. Two weeks later, on the Dec. 11 episode, he was booted off the show.
According to CNN, a title card appeared at the tail-end of the episode, which read, "Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player." EW stated that Spilo is the first person to ever be removed from Survivor.
After leaving the island, the former contestant finally broke his silence in a Dec. 17 statement to People. "I am deeply sorry for how my actions affected Kellee during the taping of this season of Survivor," he wrote, in part. "After apologizing at the tribal council when I first learned that Kellee still felt uncomfortable, I want to make sure I do so again, clearly and unambiguously."
CBS is also instigating a new rulebook, per Hollywood Reporter, which will require "another on-site professional to provide a confidential means of reporting any concerns." Perhaps most importantly, however, is the implementation of the new rule "stating unwelcome physical contact, sexual harassment and impermissible biases cannot be brought into the competition and will not be permitted as part of gameplay."
What's more, Survivor Season 40 has already been filmed, per the same CBS statement, for which "the show added to its pre-production cast orientation specific guidelines regarding personal space, inappropriate behavior, and how to report these issues." So hopefully, with these guidelines in place, CBS won't have to deal with any more controversies in future seasons.
But whatever Survivor's 20th anniversary has in store, fortunately audiences only have to wait two more months to watch these reality show winners go to war.