CBS Orders New Reality Show; ‘Survivor: Ebola’ To Air Early 2015

DALLAS, Texas – CBS Orders New Reality Show; 'Survivor- Ebola' To Air Early 2015

Ahead of a press conference scheduled for next week, CBS Television today announced a half-season order of the hit show Survivor, this time to take place in the United States, and being released as Survivor: Ebola. Jeff Probst, host of the Survivor series since its original premiere in 2000, will return after completing experimental treatments at an Atlanta hospital. As it has in the past, CBS generally orders half-seasons of its successful reality television offerings instead of full ones. That way, the network can better organize its fall, spring, and summer schedules.

The order comes as no surprise to industry experts, but the change of location does. “No season of Survivor has ever been shot stateside,” notes critic Tevi Guyd. “And with the new iterations enhanced sense of danger, it’s a bold move by the network and the production company to move to a local location, especially Texas.” Filming has already been underway for sometime in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including recently publicized location shoots at a Dallas hospital.

When the fall television season gets underway, the major networks program new shows and axe old ones almost as fast as an apocalyptic contagion. “Good thing the new series spread as quickly as it did last year,” says executive producer Mark Burnett. “Within mere days, our Nielsen ratings went through the roof! It was as if you’d stuck a thermometer in someone’s mouth, and they had a fever, and the mercury broke the glass. Like in one of the old cartoons.”

“Our numbers were higher than they’d ever been in the last ten years,” says Probst from behind a CDC quarantine in Dallas. “We were worried that, with ratings plummeting and advertisers bailing on us, we were dead in the water. We weren’t sure if the show had run its course, or if audiences had become immune to us. All this recent success is due to Mark’s ingenuity.”

“He’s being too nice,” says Burnett. “Jeff is a hell of a guy, and a world-class reality show host. I can’t think of anyone else we’d rather risk sacrificing to this new Ebola epidemic than him.” All gesturing aside, Survivor: Ebola owes its infectious popularity to Burnett’s quick thinking. Inspired by local news report from Guinea in late 2013, the television mogul sent a crew to scout the west African country for leads. When all except one of the party’s members made it back to New York unscathed by the trip and was cleared by the CDC, Burnett knew he had a hit in the making. “I simply did what anyone else in my profession would do,” he finally admits. “I pounced.” And pounce he did.

Like its predecessors, Survivor: Ebola pits 16 contestants against each other in a two-tribe format, and against one another in a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Not only will they be fighting against one another and the threat of infection, but they will also be dealing with their ill-conceived notions of Ebola. The only contestant to have any medical experience is Dr. Casey Schuler of Houston, Texas.

“I can’t believe all the action happening for this season we’re shooting now,” Probst says. “Fans of both Survivor and the Ebola virus itself are going to be getting a special treat come next year!”

Survivor: Ebola is set to air in January on CBS.

2014 To Be Record Year for ‘People Peeping’ During New England Winter

BOSTON, Massachusetts – 2014 To Be Record Year for 'People Peeping' During New England Winter

As fall temperatures plummet, millions of visitors from the New England countryside will make the annual pilgrimage to Boston for people peeping season. The event is a favorite regional activity for many, and experts predict record numbers during the coming winter.

People peeping is the name commonly given to the viewing of persons during the winter season. People peepers, on the other hand, are those who take part in the activity. Participants generally travel to densely populated urban areas to watch people go about their business, the most frequent being their attempts to escape the cold. Most major towns in New England offer prime people peeping when the time is right, but Boston routinely takes top prize among peepers.

“My family’s gone people peepin’ every year for as long as I can remember,” says Thomas Birch of Lincoln, N.H. “After the year’s fall, my daddy would take us down to Boston for a few days. It’s such a wonderful thing, you know, seein’ all the different kinds of people all around. All different shapes and sizes and colors. Mostly black, though, since they’re all bundled up against the cold.”

“We used to go to Maine in the fall for leaf peeping, but we find that’s just not as much fun as people peeping,” said Marsha Fuller of Lincoln, New Hampshire. “So instead of wasting money on that trip, we head down to Boston or Worcester in the winter. It’s a hellacious drive sometimes what with the snowstorms and all, but when we get there, and we can watch all the people scampering around, trying to get warm, it really makes the trip worth it.”

The 2015 Farmer’s Almanac predicts higher than normal snowfall for Boston, New York and other major cities along the Atlantic Corridor. This is especially the case for the months of December, January and February, during which the weather is expected to include “colder and slightly wetter than normal, with above-normal snowfall.”

“Folks are hardly ever outside then,” says Denise Palm, a frequent tourist from the west coast. “You rarely ever see anyone out and about for all that long, and I don’t blame them. It gets so cold here in the wintertime!”

Most consider snowy and freezing weather phenomena to be ideal, which is why Boston is the pastime’s epicenter. As days grow shorter and average temperatures decrease, more Bostonians spend less of their time outside. The infrequent sunlight and greater cold make for a most inhospitable environment, yet such is precisely what is necessary for people peeping.

The popular form of recreation is not without its detractors. As the weather worsens, obstacles like snow drifts and black ice hamper people’s ability to get around. The addition of people peepers only clogs the roads further, frustrating many in Boston. “They’re all over the place,” says an outspoken Southie resident. “It’s a disgrace, fallin’ everywhere like that in peoples’ ways.”

Despite the annoyance, the people peepers keep coming. Himself a father, Birch intends to rejoin countless others in the next few months for the trip south. “The Pines are already talkin’ about visitin’ the city in October, but I think we’ll wait till December or January. That’s when the real action starts.”

“I’m a bit of a fanatic about the whole thing,” Birch admits. “I’m pretty sure it’s why everyone calls me ‘Peeping Tom.'”

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