The U.K. is re-entering the Big Brother house.
Almost five years after John de Mol’s beloved, loathed, groundbreaking and entertainment landscape-changing reality show left U.K. TV following 17 seasons, the format — now owned by Banijay and produced by its Initial label — is set to make a dramatic return.
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Having first launched on Channel 4 in 2000 and then shifted to Channel 5 in 2011 before being axed in 2018, Big Brother is this time heading to ITV. The network, buoyed by the success of its current ratings smash Love Island, broke the much-anticipated news on Monday night, aptly during a commercial break from Love Island’s season eight grand finale.
The revived Big Brother will air in 2023 on both ITV’s ITV2 channel and its soon-to-launch streaming service ITVX.
The British press, which played a major part in turning Big Brother into a cultural phenomenon and near-permanent talking point in the early 2000s, had reported that ITV bosses wanted to bring in a younger audience and return to the back-to-basics approach of the first seasons of the show. In a release, the network said that it was going to cast “carefully selected housemates, from all walks of life,” adding that the Big Brother house — the setting for some of the U.K.’s most renowned and controversial contemporary TV moments — would be given a “contemporary new look” for the show’s “reimagining.”
“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 Paul Mortimer, director of reality commissioning & acquisitions and controller, ITV2, ITVBe & CITV, who commissioned the new series alongside Peter Tierney.
“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,” added Natalka Znak, CEO of Initial, Remarkable Entertainment and Znak TV. “Working with Claire O’Donohoe and the talented team at Initial, Katy Manley and Cat Lynch. This is going to be epic.”
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