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PARIS – After months of debate following the death of a contestant, the French version of Survivor will live on, channel TF1 announced today.
Koh-Lanta will come back with an all-star season to air sometime in 2014. Adventure Line Productions (ALP) has been asked to “determine the conditions” for a revival of the series, after the show was canceled in March. ALP said it will hire a panel of experts to evaluate its emergency medical procedures.
Since the cancellation, the series has been mired in controversy and tragedy.
French investigators earlier this month opened a criminal inquiry into the death of contestant Gerald Babin, 25, on the first day of filming in Cambodia. Accusations that the production delayed Babin’s medical care so as not to interfere with filming were published in the magazine Closer shortly after his death, attributed to an anonymous source “close to the production.”
Following the Closer report and the ensuing media frenzy, staff doctor Thierry Costa committed suicide. In a note left in his hotel room Costa wrote that he could no longer live after his reputation had been “sullied.”
“Unjust accusations and assumptions have been made against me,” he wrote in the letter, which was published in the newspaper Le Parisien with the permission of his family. “I am sure I treated Gerald with respect as a patient and not as a contestant.”
Since the cancellation, TF1 has been without its flagship show. In a television interview on June 24, TF1 CEO Nonce Paolini said he hoped the show would return.
“I hope that it’s back. This is an exceptional program,” he said. “Everyone from 7 to 77 watches.”
The 2012 season had an average of 7.4 million viewers, with a 29.9 audience share.
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