Four years after the lights went out in the iconic “Big Brother” house at Elstree Studios outside London, the show has sensationally announced a return.
The British version of the iconic reality TV series, which first launched 22 years ago, is set to return to screens in 2023 after what will be a five year hiatus. This time, however, it will be broadcast on network ITV2 and streaming platform ITVX.
From its launch in 2000 until 2010 the show aired on Channel 4 before moving to Channel 5 in 2011. It ran there for 7 years until Channel 5 finally retired the format in 2018. (Pictured above is Ray J entering the “Big Brother” house in 2017.)
“A new cast of carefully selected housemates, from all walks of life, will take up residence in the world’s most famous reality TV home for up to six weeks, with cameras capturing their every move, and the nation following every twist and turn,” reads a logline for the rebooted format. The winner will be awarded a “life-changing” sum of money.
ITV have confirmed the famed house will be given a “contemporary new look” but all the typical “Big Brother” bells and whistles – including challenges, nominations and live evictions – will return.
No doubt the series’ propensity for controversiality will also remain. The “Big Brother” format has been controversial ever since it first debuted over two decades ago, and has faced a number of scandals during its time on air. During season 5 of spin-off “Celebrity Big Brother,” broadcast on Channel 4 in 2007, there was a controversy over the racist bullying of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty by some of the other houseguests including Jade Goody, Jackiey Budden, Danielle Lloyd and Jo O’Meara.
Earlier this month there were again accusations of bullying in the U.S. version of “Big Brother,” which airs on CBS, after the treatment of contestant Taylor Hale by her fellow houseguests.
Although whether “Big Brother” will still prove controversial in the era of reality shows such as “Love Island” (which is also broadcast on ITV2) remains to be seen.
Paul Mortimer, director of reality commissioning and acquisitions and controller for ITV2, ITVBe and CITV, and commissioner Peter Tierney commissioned the new series.
“This refreshed, contemporary new series of ‘Big Brother’ will contain all the familiar format points that kept viewers engaged and entertained the first time round, but with a brand new look and some additional twists that speak to today’s audience,” said Mortimer. “We’re beyond excited to bring this iconic series to ITV2.”
Natalka Znak, CEO of Banijay-owned Initial, Remarkable Entertainment and Znak TV added: “’Big Brother’ is the original and best reality format and one that I have never made before so it’s a huge privilege to be making an all new version with ITV2 and ITVX. Working with Claire O’Donohoe and the talented team at Initial, Katy Manley and Cat Lynch. This is going to be epic!”