Survivor producer Mark Burnett expects next spring’s 12th edition of Survivor will be the last for its host, Jeff Probst – and a former female contestant from that granddaddy of reality shows may replace him.
“I believe in my gut that he will move on,” producer Mark Burnett told TV Guide about Probst, according to RealityTVWorld.com, adding that Burnett “half-nodded” when asked if Probst would be replaced by a former female player from the show.
Burnett’s statement preceded Probst’s announcement on Live with Regis and Kelly that the rumors were untrue that he was leaving Survivor because he was in love with Survivor: Vanuatu‘s Julie Berry and his contract was expiring after “Survivor 12.”
Earlier this month, Probst, 43, told PEOPLE about Berry, 24: “I finally met someone who could teach me about love. Julie’s given me a sense of balance I’ve never had. It’s like fingers interlacing.”
Berry, whom Probst waited to ask out until the game was over (she came in fifth place during season nine), is equally smitten. “Everything is a brighter shade,” says the former youth mentor from Maine. “We complement each other beautifully.”
As for his Survivor job, Probst told PEOPLE that he was unsure about whether he’ll renew.
“There’s the inevitable point where you go, ‘Do I want to do other things?'” he said. “But like I told someone the other day, I don’t want to be the David Caruso of reality TV. I’ll never have as good a job as Survivor.”