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Survivor: Thailand

CBS is going tropical again for the latest installment of its hit "reality" franchise, "Survivor."

The fifth edition of the popular show, pitting 16 "castaways" against each other in a $1 million game of elimination, will be filmed on the island of Tarutao in an archipelago off the west coast of Thailand, CBS said Tuesday.

"Survivor: Thailand" is slated to premiere this coming fall.

The 58 square-mile Koh Tarutao (Koh means island), situated just north of the equator, is the largest of about 50 islands designated in 1974 as Tarutao National Park. The island is home to a wide range of monkeys, snakes and birds, and its waters are inhabited by sea turtles, whales and dolphins.

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With the cooperation of the Thai government, producers of the show have been given access to the island this summer, when the park is normally closed to visitors, CBS said.

As in earlier installments of the show, "Survivor: Thailand" will follow the exploits of eight men and eight women as they conspire, scrounge for food and battle the elements, trying to "outwit, outplay and outlast" each other to win the $1 million jackpot.

The original "Survivor," filmed on a tiny Malaysian islet off the coast of Borneo, was a ratings sensation whose summer 2000 finale drew a record 52 million viewers. The second edition, shot in the Australian Outback and aired last spring, was likewise one of television's most-watched shows of 2001.

By the time "Survivor: Africa," set on a wild game reserve in Kenya, rolled around last winter, the franchise had lost some steam but still averaged a respectable 20.7 million viewers.

The fourth edition, "Survivor: Marquesas"in French Polynesia, which wraps with a two-hour finale on May 19, has bounced back a bit with an average audience of 21.2 million viewers so far.

CBS is a unit of Viacom Inc.

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