The cat’s out of the bag about Pirate Master, Mark Burnett’s Survivor on A Pirate Ship.
The 13-week CBS series premieres May 31st, hosted by Aussie actor and musician Cameron Daddo (above). Sixteen contestants will live on a 179-foot-square rigger off the Caribbean island of Dominica (where the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed) while they search for buried treasure totaling $1 million. (About half the loot, in gold coins, will be distributed to the players as they locate parts of the hidden treasure.)
Burnett says the game is based on a story he devised a few years ago about a mythical pirate called “Captain Steel”…
The Captain, he tells TV Guide, had supposedly divided treasure equally among his crew and buried it on Dominica. “Each man returned to the ship with a set of maps and hid them in a chest with 14 compartments, and it was only a few weeks ago that the chest was recovered. So the contestants are sailing to a different destination each week around the island looking for the treasure.”
Burnett says the contestants include “sixteen people who all agree that had they been born 250 years ago, they would have liked to be pirates.” Among the eight men and eight women are “a very tough Nigerian who became an American and a former Navy rescue swimmer, who’s currently a smoke jumper. Everybody’s a good athlete, but what they’ve learned is that to be a great pirate, you have to be really smart.”
Contestants will dress in period costumes, eat authentic food like gruel– the officers get better rations– and are ruled by an elected captain who assigns roles to the crew members– and can be overthrown if he doesn’t treat his crew well.
Each week at “Pirate’s Court,” one player is cast off the ship and set adrift on a raft.
TV Guide calls the series “a mix of the mind games of Survivor and the extreme physical challenges of Burnett’s Eco-Challenge, all under a Jolly Roger flag.”
“It’s a huge– and hard– adventure,” says Burnett, “with jumping off waterfalls, swimming up canyon lakes and crossing mud-filled jungles.”
The show will debut in Survivor 8 pm Thursday slot, seven years to the day after Survivor‘s debut. That’s been the Big Brother results show perch for a couple of years now, so CBS could have new nights in store for The Chenbot and company.
(See a preview of Pirate Master here.)