'Survivor' keeps trekking

Probst returns as CBS re-ups series

CBS has renewed "Survivor" for next season, ordering a 17th and 18th installment of the long-running reality series.

Additionally, Jeff Probst has signed a new deal to continue as host.

" 'Survivor' has become an expected treat every Thursday at 8 p.m., and I am glad our loyal fans can continue their appointment television with us," executive producer Mark Burnett said.

The series' 16th edition, "Survivor: Micronesia," premieres Feb. 7. Casting for "Survivor 17" is under way.

"I still get excited to get on the plane and travel to another exotic location with another group of adventure-seeking, type-A personalities," said Probst, who has been host since the series' inception. "It is without question the best job I've ever had."

The most recent installment, "Survivor: China," averaged 15.2 million viewers and a 5.1 rating/14 share among adults 18-49. While the franchise has been trekking down in the ratings since its early heyday, it still dominates its time period, anchoring CBS' Thursday lineup.

"It is truly a remarkable feat to be winning your time period in all ratings categories after 15 editions," CBS reality chief Ghen Maynard said. "The show's success is testimony to the creativity and passion of Mark, Jeff and the entire production team and to a brilliant concept that continually introduces new casts and settings, making each season feel like a new series."