BBC show Survivor is reportedly ‘facing the axe’ with bosses holding crisis talks as ‘bored’ viewers switch off.
The Beeb has rebooted the iconic reality series after 20 years off air – with comedian Joel Dommett hosting. The new season launched in a prime time slot after Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday.
However, while Strictly attracted eight million viewers, the majority switched off when Survivor started. Just 2.6million watched as 18 castaways were marooned in the Dominican Republic for the "ultimate physical and psychological game" of survival.
Episode two – which aired in a prime time slot on Sunday night – pulled in 2.3million viewers. Now it has been reported that the BBC has been plunged into a meltdown over the ratings – with bosses holding crisis meetings to work out what to do with the remaining 14 episodes of the series.
A source told MailOnline: "It’s crazy. BBC One had a winning Saturday and Sunday night schedule that would have seen it safely through to Christmas – and the panicking bosses just ripped it up to make room for a show that cost so much of licence payers’ money that they could not afford for it to flop.
"It is terrible news for the BBC, it is an absolute disaster. It cost a fortune and it is just not appealing to the masses – conversations are now taking place as to what can be done to turn things around, quickly."
OK! has contacted the BBC for comment.
However, an insider said the initial viewing statistics do not show the whole picture – as on demand viewers are not taken into account. A source told The Sun: “In a world of on demand viewing, programmes are not judged on overnight performance alone and iPlayer figures are still to come.”
Survivor viewers took to social media to share their verdict of the show just minutes into the new series on Saturday – with many making the same complaint.
The programme sees the marooned castaways divided into two tribes and forced to compete against one another for rewards or immunity from being voted off – with a grand prize of £100,000 at stake.
But one viewer wrote online: "Good grief. Is this really what the # BBC think the great British public want to watch on a Saturday night?" Another added: "I'm bored already #Survivor."
A third said: "#Survivor on @BBCOne is c***. Gave it 20minutes and it's dull. Bring back #TheWheel." A fourth wrote: "I'm not sure I care about anything that is happening. #SurvivorUK #Survivor."
Before the show aired, host Joel told the Mirror: "It feels like now's the right time for it to be in the UK. And it sort of feels like a piece of every one of our favourite shows in the UK.
“And it's not because it's the last one to the table. It's because it was the first one to the table, and you realise when you are watching how many other shows have taken parts of Survivor for their show."
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