Executive producer answers your questions – Part 2

The man behind Big Brother Australia Alex Mavroidakis is back to answer more questions from BBBA members following a special invitation by our very own Goon to ask him anything you really wanted to know. Continue reading Executive producer answers your questions – Part 2

Big Brother answers your questions – Part 1

Last week BBBA veteran Goon asked members for their questions for Big Brother’s executive producer Alex Mavroidakis – and over the last couple of days he has answered them.   Here are the answers to the first batch of questions: Continue reading Big Brother answers your questions – Part 1

Big Brother UK axed!

UK broadcaster C4 has today confirmed that it will be axing Big Brother in the UK next year, but will honour the existing contract with Endemol.

With Big Brother 10 coming to a close, Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother 11 will air in 2010, bringing to a close ten years of the reality franchise in the UK after ratings for this summer series tumbled to an all time low, losing a third of the audience from last year – and over half of the audience within three years.

Although Endemol suggest the format could continue elsewhere, the three main candidates to take over the franchise – ITV, Five and Sky – have all ruled themselves out.

The axing of Big Brother will lead to a revamp of the summer schedules on C4 and it’s sister station E4, with 200 hours of new programming to find and a renewed commitment to original drama, an area where the station has cut back on in recent years due to falling ad revenues.

Julian Bellamy, Head of C4 stated that “Big Brother will leave a huge hole and filling it will involve the most fundamental creative overhaul in our history. We’ve 18 months to transform the schedule; today’s announcement is our biggest-ever creative call-to-arms to producers to come forward with their very best ideas”.

C4’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo, added that although Big Brother remained profitable, C4 had a responsibility to be creative.  “That remit to push the boundaries has been an essential part of the weird chemistry behind Big Brother’s success, but it’s now what is telling us that the programme has reached a natural end point on Channel 4 and it’s time to move on.”

BBUK host Davina McCall has repeatedly stated this summer that she will be back to front BB11 next year, although she has already signed up for her next role, fronting a dance competition series for Sky1.

  • Share your views on the axing of BBUK in our forum.

BBUK returns for 10th summer season

It may be over in Australia, for now at least, but Big Brother returns for it’s tenth, and possibly penultimate, season in the UK next week.

The build up to this season has been more secretive than in recent years, with host Davina McCall claiming she “gasped” when she was informed of a twist planned for this year.    Following Thursday nights launch show, an extra live show will air on Sunday night in which Big Brother reveals some surprises that could send shockwaves through the house”.

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Big Brother hasn’t been immune to the credit crunch, with a number of cut backs this year.   For the first time since BB4, there are just two presenters associated with the show.  As well as fronting the evictions, Davina McCall will also be presenting Big Brother’s Big Mouth, which has been cut from four to one episode a week, while George Lamb returns for his second series of fanzine show Big Brother’s Little Brother.

Diary Room Uncut has also been axed, but the decision which has angered the fans the most has been to scrap the 24/7 live feed.   Live coverage will only be available from the house for just a few hours overnight.

Big Brother begins on C4 in the UK on Thursday 4th June.   Check out the International Forum for the latest discussion, while bbspy has the latest news and rumours, including more of the adverts counting down to the launch.

The good, the bad and the celebrities

So the end is nigh – and unless Big Brother has a sugar daddy waiting in the wings, this time it really could be the end. I can’t say I was surprised, and in it’s current state the show really did need to be put out of it’s misery rather than remaining on life support for another couple of years.

Having said that though I do believe that alot has been learnt from this season and in a similar way to how Kris Noble took a year before putting his stamp on the format with the changes made in BB05, BB09 could have been a turning point for the franchise once again now that Rory and Virginia had a season under their belt – but only if Ten gave them the freedom to make the changes required, even if it did leave a two-hour hole in their Friday night schedules.

So let’s take a look back at the positives – and not so positives – of the last few months.

THE GOOD

  • The Hand Grenades – by far the best innovation to the format this year which after seven years finally gave a point to the goodbye videos.
  • The Kombi – a simple, but genius twist. It’s success though is all down to Nobbi – I’m not sure it would have worked as well with any other housemate.
  • No cars – I know some people think no prizes means the producers are doing things on the cheap, but I’ve never understood the logic in rewarding that weeks most hated housemate.
  • Ignore the Obvious – it’s the task which broke virtually every BB rule in the book, but it was worth it.
  • The Big U Turn – admitting defeat over the new eviction process was when this series really kicked into gear. Without the nominations it simply wasn’t Big Brother.
  • Kyle and Jackie O – I’m probably in the minority here, but think how much worse this series would have been with Gretel, or god forbid, Mike Goldman, at the helm.
  • Ollie – the clear winner of the series.

THE BAD

  • Terri. Of all the 53-year olds they could have chose, they chose her. It didn’t work at all for the first few weeks when she was the only housemate over 30 – but worst of all is the fact that she’s been the chosen one from the very beginning. First housemate revealed in the promos, a first night twist based around protecting the oldie and weekly pleas from Kyle to keep “Nanna Terri” in.
  • The Gatecrashers. The web vote was a great idea and executed incredibly well – but it was all for nothing and an absolute insult not only to those who voted, but to those who had made the effort to audition online too. As usual too the viewers were taken completely for granted too, with producers believing it’s fine to tell them one day that the three “web mates” are fully fledged housemates, and then kick two of them out a couple of days later and pretend they never existed.
  • The prize twist. They say the best ideas are usually thought up down the pub. Obviously the producers this year are tea-total. Or were at least.
  • The revolver room. It was bad in week one, but even worse in following weeks when they tried to create the illusion that HMs rotated directly out of the house to the back of the stage – and failed miserably.
  • Big Mouth. It suffered an identity crisis from the very beginning and would have been much better if it had a clear direction as either a panel show or an uncut show – but the two didn’t blend together too well. Having said that though it did allow uncut content to return to the show with zero controversy.
  • FNL. Enough said.

THE CELEBRITIES

More than anything I think this season will be defined by the unwanted influx of “celebrity” guests.

  • Corey – To be fair Corey was good value, but it was far too early in the series before anyone knew anything of the original housemates. It was also an insult to the thousands of younger fans prevented from auditioning due to being under-18, and if BB doesn’t come back, they’re not going to get their chance in the future.
  • Carson – so bad they did it twice. The most annoying thing about this special though was how they left through at the bottom of the garden and ended up in a room at the other side of the house, plus the numerous unseen stylists the housemates interacted with.
  • Hypnotism – actually not a bad show, but it was something that should have been done after the housemates had left, not while the housemates were in the house.
  • Pamela Anderson – by far the biggest name they’ve ever had on the show and a seemingly welcome guest – but completely pointless and provided nothing more than a one night ratings boost.

Overall this season hasn’t been the greatest, but I think it escapes the tag as the worst – and most importantly, this year the producers seemed to be willing to make changes as the season progressed which led to a much better second half of the season – and it’s a shame they won’t have the chance to put their lessons into practice next year.

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