Survivor' Producer Not Worried

Thursday, October 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ ``Survivor'' creator Mark Burnett believes his show is immune to the current reality TV slump.

``I think we're different,'' he said Wednesday. ``We're the original. And I think we operate at a higher level.''

The third ``Survivor'' series, set in Kenya, premieres Oct. 11 on CBS. Last spring's Australian edition was television's highest-rated program.

Reality shows, however, have done poorly in the ratings over the last few weeks, particularly ABC's ``The Mole'' and Fox's ``Love Cruise.'' NBC's ``Lost'' and ``The Amazing Race'' on CBS have also failed to draw big audiences.

It's been suggested that viewers will have little patience for faux reality following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, but Burnett dismisses the notion.

``I'm a viewer, too,'' he said in a conference call. ``I'm totally in the mood for escapist television. There's only so much 24-hour news you can watch.''

He called ``Survivor III'' the best ever, mostly because he and his crew are more experienced and comfortable on the job. ``When you watch for three minutes, you'll be saying two words: `They're back.'''