The Series Premiere of 'Buddy Games' Was Dedicated to Keith Sayres — Who Is He?

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Sep. 15 2023, Updated 10:28 a.m. ET

The series premiere of CBS's Buddy Games ended in an unusual way, with a touching dedication. "In Memory of Keith Sayers," read the title card. Viewers were of course curious about Keith's relationship to the new series, especially since a reality show producer by the name of Keith Sayres passed away in February 2023. Here's what we know.

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Did Keith work on 'Buddy Games'?

While Keith's IMDB page doesn't list Buddy Games as a working credit, it's possible some of his former coworkers made their way over to the new series. Before his passing, Keith was a producer on Survivor. Could there be a connection there?

Keith Sayres in Fiji
Source: Instagram/@keith_feezy

Keith Sayres in Fiji

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According to the Buddy Games IMDB page, Ronald Hysten is listed as co-executive producer on the show. Coincidentally, he also produced 146 episodes of Survivor. It stands to reason that he and Keith worked together, and maybe Ronald wanted to honor his former coworker one more time.

What did Keith Sayres do on 'Survivor'?

Per Martin Holmes, owner and editor-in-chief at Insider Surivor, Keith was a segment producer on the show since 2012. For six years he worked on the show, and through it was able to travel all over the world. From the Philippines to Bali, Keith was working hard and playing hard. In March 2023 this titled card appeared at the end of an episode of the long-running show: "In loving memory of our friend and colleague Keith Sayres."

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Keith Sayres and Jeff Probst
Source: Instagram/@keith_feezy

Keith Sayres and 'Survivor' host Jeff Probst in 2012.

His Instagram is filled with beautiful sunsets on faraway beaches, hilarious hangs with pals, and quality time with his family. It didn't matter where Keith was, it seems as if a good time followed him. Beyond his work on Survivor, he was also a story associate producer on Married at First Sight and Little Women: Terra's Little Family.

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The comments section of his last Instagram post from Dec. 27, 2022 is filled with people mourning his passing. Season 36 Survivor winner Wendell Holmes wrote, "Love you brother." Another user replied, "Rest in paradise my friend." Most folks wrote a simple yet beautiful, "I love you."

What was Keith Sayres's cause of death?

As of the time of this writing, we do not know Keith's cause of death, which occurred Feb. 1, 2023. Two GoFundMe pages have since been created to help his family. One raised $47,872 of a $20,000 goal and was started by Bryan Riches, who posted the Feb. 9 viewing information in the comments.

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While the other GoFundMe didn't do nearly as well, raising $7,820 of a $38,000 goal, it provided more information about Keith. He was described as someone with "love, light and consistency," by fundraising organizer Michael Nelms. "He was an amazing human being to everyone he encountered and he lived life to the fullest with the highest of intentions," wrote Michael.

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The love people have for Keith can be felt in the comments section of the GoFundMe pages. "Growing up in the Survivor community, I heard stories of how incredible of a person and coworker Keith was," wrote Ariel Blandford. "When I was lucky enough to get to know him, he was always a warm ray of sunshine, kind and encouraging. I’m better for knowing him, and the impact he had on the people around him will never be forgotten."

Chad Fraser sent his love, saying Keith "will always be a light that shined so brightly." The one constant in these comments and replies is Keith's ability to give without question. People considered themselves lucky for knowing him. Tim Barker kept his response short but sweet. "He was my friend," said Tim. That's a pretty good legacy to leave behind.

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