Even with the numbers going down, it’s notable that Survivor’s pretty much held steady at 9–11 million people for the past three or four years, even as the rest of TV hemorrhages viewers. I think Empire is the only show that beat Survivor in the ratings last night?
I feel that it’s a show that will keep going on as long as it doesn’t see a massive drop in viewership. It’s very cheap to make as far as programming goes, and it pulls in good ratings and revenue. And while there’s not been an unthemed season sans returnees since Season 19, Samoa (seven years ago), the themes and returnees give a bit of fresh blood and life to the old formula.
Plus, let’s be honest, if the Cook Islands/Fiji debacle and the “Dark Ages” (Seasons 21 through 26, with Season 25 being the sole outlier) couldn’t kill Survivor, I think it’ll take a lot to finally bring the show to an end.