Celebrity Watchlist: Jeff Probst Loves to Root for the Bad Guys
A funny thing happened when Jeff Probst was compiling his TV watchlist.
"In writing my list, I realized there's a theme to all of my favorite television shows: The main character is morally flawed and often a criminal," Probst tells TVGuide.com. "Yeah, baby."
The Survivor host, who is all too used to battling the bad guys (see: Richard Hatch, Johnny Fairplay and Russell Hantz), says he can relate to Breaking Bad's Walter White. "I'd like to think I'd do something similar if I found myself in his situation," Probst says of the morally questionable cancer patient-turned-meth dealer.
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He also admits he would easily be pulled to the dark side by another suburban drug dealer. "I'd be a pothead if Mary-Louise Parker lived in my neighborhood," he says of Weeds' leading lady. "She's sexy, she's unpredictable and she's careless. Great combo."
Probst's other favorites include Mad Men ("The characters are written so well that I find myself rooting for and against all of them at different times"), 30 Rock ("The sexual tension between Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey is written so well") and Dexter. "Though his character is a serial killer, I am always impressed with the many layers he brings to the role," Probst says of Dexter star Michael C. Hall.
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Although the traveling demands of Survivor make it hard to stay up-to-date, being thousands of miles away from home has its advantages. "Because we're on location for a few months at a time, I tend to watch lots of boxed sets," Probst says. "Location is where I discovered Breaking Bad and 30 Rock."
But how did Probst, who has won three consecutive Emmys for Best Reality Host, first come to discover TV altogether? The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
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"I clearly remember when I was a little kid, watching Johnny Carson on a very small black-and-white TV long after my folks thought I had fallen asleep. I would watch until my eyes got so blurry I couldn't see anymore," Probst says. "I loved being able to talk to my parents about the monologue. Made me feel like a grown up."
Years later, it's clear his heart still lies with live TV, although he admits he'd like to flex his acting muscles on The Office.
"I'd love to host a big live event show like American Idol. I'd love to be one of the chosen interviewers to work on 60 Minutes," Probt says. "In the meantime, I'll stick with Survivor."
The season finale of Survivor: Redemption Island airs on Sunday at 8/7c on CBS.