creator of Survivor
Burnett is responsible for the television phenomenon of 2000, Survivor—an experiment in social Darwinism, in which contestants compete for food, shelter, friendship, and $1million. A former member of the British Army Parachute Regiment who came to the U.S. in 1982, Burnett has a long career of producing unconventional outdoor competitions. In 1992, he founded Eco-Challenge Lifestyle's Inc. and earned an Emmy Award nomination for the 1996 Eco-Challenge TV special and a second in the Special Achievement category for his 1998 Eco-Challenge event. His 2001 Survivor II: The Australian Outback began to look less like reality TV as revelations leaked out about body doubles. Meanwhile, pouting contestants of the original Survivor took Burnett to court, claiming “not everything was as it seemed.” Unfazed by criticism, Burnett has plans for several more shows guaranteed to reveal the dark underbelly of humanity, including a collaboration with Steven Spielberg called On the Lot which has a DreamWorks deal as the prize.