On August 23, 2000, the Survivor: Borneo finale received the highest ratings of any Survivor episode to date with an average of 51.7 million viewers. Nielsen reported that 125 million people watched at least some part of the finale. That was my episode before the final reveal was done as a live broadcast. I remember sitting in my living room surrounded by all the footage, watching it so I could put the show together. It was surreal not only knowing the one thing that everyone else in America wanted to know, who was the winner, but also having the footage in my hands to prove it. It was the now infamous corporate trainer, aka., the Naked Guy, Richard Hatch.
Season 2, Survivor: Australia, went on to be the top-rated show of 2001. According to Nielsen Ratings, it had an average of 30 million viewers tuning in each week. The last episode was mine again, but now the final reveal of the winner was being done live. We left Australia not knowing it was Tina Wesson who won. That remained secret until I put that last episode of the season together. Then only Mark Burnett, my editor, and I knew the name of the winner. Everyone else, the rest of the Survivor staff, CBS, and the contestants had to wait to find out who won all at the same time.
I am still proud to have been part of the team who won the Emmy for producing the first two seasons of Survivor. The team also included: Mark Burnett (obviously), Craig Piligian, Scott Messick (S1), Tom Shelly, Jay Bienstock, John Feist, and Terry Kennedy (S2).