BB09: The Rescue Plan
2 July 2008
OK, this season hasn’t been the best – in fact, it’s been a challenger for the worst, but at least since they reverted back to the original format it’s felt more like Big Brother again. Nominations, even more so than evictions, are the key part of the format and in the first few weeks of the series the show lost it’s soul. Also to be praised is the lack of Intruders – if we forget the gatecrashers, which I think we all have anyway.
However, if BB09 goes ahead the show needs to be given every chance to succeed – and that means more change is required.
Firstly, and most crucially, the time slot. The extended shows always perform significantly better after 7.30pm, and always seem far more popular too. So the first change is simple – move the weeknight shows to 7.30pm, extending them to an hour. And I’m in no doubt Ten could accommodate such a change considering nominations, midweek specials and FNL have filled the slot for years.
Talking of FNL, it’s an old one but it’s as relevant as ever – FNL is seriously over due a revamp. Firstly, axe Ryan so it’s no longer the BB boys club. Secondly, it’s slashed to an hour (8.30-9.30pm) so it’s straight to the point, rather than full of filler crap. And thirdly, it’s made with the Big Brother fan in mind, not their kids. Most importantly after four years of it being an individual competition the show is completely refocused with a new format and a renewed importance. The link with evictions is also removed.
LET BATTLE COMMENCE
What that change is depends on the series as a whole – and one tried and tested format would give both FNL, and Big Brother itself, the revamp it requires. Big Brother: The Battle – a revamped house, split into rich and poor, with up to 16 housemates split between the two sides. FNL then becomes the main “Battle” each week as the two sides of the house go head to head to claim their place on the rich side, with hot water, comfy beds and all the luxuries of the house, while the losers face the back to basics lifestyle – to the extreme.
The weekly task is also replaced by a series of ad-hoc challenges taking place randomly throughout the week either for rewards or for individual housemates to swap sides.
The format also allows for the nominations process to be revamped, and there are numerous ways it could be done. Each side of the house could nominate independently, with one from each side going head to head in the eviction vote. Other options include one side winning immunity, or perhaps linking it to the point system so the rich HMs nominations are worth 2 points and the poor HMs worth just the one. Or the nominations process could simply be left as it is, leaving the housemates themselves to decide how loyal to their own side of the house they are.
An absolute must – keep Mike Goldman as far away from them as physically possible. And they should certainly not bring back Gretel. Kyle and Jackie O have had the chance to bed in now and it’s important the show looks to the future, not too the past, so they should remain in charge next year. And them only being available one day a week has actually benefited the show this year, which hasn’t suffered from all the pointless midweek specials we had during Gretel’s final couple of years with the show.
And that’s the starting point to give BB09 a chance – it’s up to those paid to do the job to do the rest.
Any thoughts – comment on my userblog.