Starting Monday, Sept. 10, “Survivor” host Jeff Probst takes on a crowded weekday afternoon talk field that includes such chat vets as Katie Couric and Ricki Lake and talk newcomers Steve Harvey and Brit Trisha Goddard.
Probst brings to the table high name recognition, an affable personality, killer dimples and a party room — yes, a party room. Imagine your typical talk show greenroom — some couches, a few snacks, maybe a bar, meant to keep celebrity guests entertained.
Only this party room has much, much more, and it’s meant for the enjoyment of the audience members.
“It’s built into the show,” Probst tells Zap2it. “It serves many purposes. Our set was designed to be an extension of my living room. I don’t have quite that living room, but it’s the idea where you feel comfortable enough to kick off your shoes. We then brought in the backdrops of nature to kind of embody the adventures I’ve had on ‘Survivor.’ The party room is an extension of that.
“You are coming over. So imagine a room where you have music pumping through it that’s equipped with massage chairs and makeover stations and social media and great snacks and a photo booth. That’s the vibe, and it serves two purposes.
“One, we want the audience to feel welcome, and we also want them to spread the word: ‘If you want something fun to do in L.A., check out “The Jeff Probst Show.” There’s this great party room, and then there’s this really fun show.’ “
Also on hand, working on the show and making appearances, is Probst’s wife, Lisa Ann Russell, mother of two children whose custody she shares with her ex-husband, “Franklin & Bash” star Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
“Whenever I need to,” Probst says, “I can say, ‘Find my wife.’ And we can put her up on the monitor, and she can comment on our relationship. Maybe it’s something I just said. Maybe she wants to counter something I just said, or maybe she has an opinion about what we are talking about.
“The idea is our life is going to be a part of the show.”