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Big Brother Australia Media Articles

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Thought I would start a thread for Big Brother related media articles.

Sonia Kruger is the new host as another reality TV social experiment begins.

Big Brother Australia is back


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Thought I would start a thread for Big Brother related media articles.

Sonia Kruger is the new host as another reality TV social experiment begins.

Big Brother Australia is back


Nice debate. Different viewpoints, all valid topics. I'm with the big guy though - I reckon Sonia will rock!


Really? The season that gave us this moment was the most intelligent?


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Big Brother, less bother

Date August 6, 2012

Michael Idato
Senior Writer

BIG Brother is, arguably, one of the most contentious television programs ever made. It's a simple concept: isolate a group of people in a purpose-built house, monitor them with cameras and evict them one by one until there's a winner. But it divides opinion like few other shows. Some people love it, some people hate it, and both groups are not backwards in coming forward to argue their case.

In its first iteration on Australian television on Channel Ten, it proved to be a magnet for criticism. It was branded ''toxic television'' amid a frenzy of negative headlines. The Australian Communications and Media Authority investigated it for breaching its MA15+ classification by showing housemates in various states of undress. And, in 2006, it was the centrepiece of the ''turkey slap'' scandal, in which two housemates were removed.

"There will still be conflict and bromance and love triangles and all of that going on, but this is a new house, a new host, new bits and pieces, a new Big Brother. "
Sonia Kruger

At that point, criticism of the series reached even the hallowed halls of Australia's parliament and the prime minister John Howard weighed in, suggesting Ten ''do a bit of self-regulation and get this stupid program off the air''.

Fast-forward to 2012 and we have a different government, a shift in national values and a new Big Brother. This iteration will air on Nine and, according to its host, Sonia Kruger, will return the format to the ''basics'' of the first season, not the competitive, sometimes distracting clutter of the seven seasons that followed it.

''There will still be conflict and bromance and love triangles and all of that going on, but this is a new house, a new host, new bits and pieces, a new Big Brother,'' she says. ''I think it will be fun.''

In terms of format, Nine's version will stick closely to the time-honoured template, with a live nomination show at 7pm on Mondays, daily shows at 7pm from Tuesdays to Fridays and a live eviction show on Sunday nights at 7pm. There will also be a 6pm show on Sundays on GO!, and Big Brother Confidential on Wednesdays at 9.30pm.

Kruger says she was a fan of the original series and, while travelling overseas for work, she also managed to see the British and American versions. ''I watched everything from the start,'' she says. ''I was really hooked into the content.'' The show's most attractive element, she says, is the simple idea of housing a group of strangers and watching the interaction as an outsider.

''Purely from the social-experiment point of view, I love the idea of putting people into the house,'' Kruger says.

''It definitely lost its way a little bit here and the good thing is we will be able to take it back to basics, having a new home, a new network, and it will be significantly different in the feel. It will have a fun vibe to it.''

Kruger was recruited from the Seven Network to join Nine late last year. Her contract with Nine puts her in the co-host seat for the Mornings program and also handed her the planned revival of Big Brother. Meeting the original Big Brother host, Gretel Killeen, on the Mornings set - Killeen is a regular guest on the program - she immediately sought her advice.

''I did say to Gretel I might go back and look at some of the tape to study the eviction process, and soon, and she said, 'Don't be ridiculous, why would you want to do that?''' Kruger recalls.

Killeen's advice was to focus on the renewed format and to make the hosting gig her own.

''And I'm glad she did say that, because I would rather just bring my own thing to it,'' Kruger says.

''Gretel was a great host and I loved watching her, because she is such a smart woman and a funny woman; she's a great role model to have in that regard. And I'm sure once the show starts I will have a million more questions for her.''

The original series screened on the Ten Network between April 2001 and July 2008. (Killeen hosted seven of its eight seasons; Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O hosted the final season.) It was cancelled because of ''audience erosion''.

Kruger believes the format has benefited from time on the shelf and an opportunity for the production house, Southern Star Endemol, to find a new approach to casting the show. ''We have deliberately set out to find people who are interesting, intelligent and the sort of characters we really warm to,'' Kruger says. In particular, re-examination of the original series revealed audiences most related to ordinary, non-manipulative players, such as Sara-Marie Fedele, Reggie Bird and Ryan Fitzgerald (''Fitzy''), rather than players who brought a gimmick into the game, such as Simon Deering (''Hotdogs'').

''Audiences like people who are themselves, who are warm and funny, not the people who have got an agenda,'' Kruger says.

''I guess everybody is going to have some sort of agenda - they want to go into that house for a reason - but this time the casting has been smarter in terms of the characters you put in there and, because there is no age barrier, an opportunity to look beyond the bronzed boys and the bikini girls.''

When the revival was first announced by Nine, Kruger concedes the reaction was mixed, in part because many people still remembered the largely negative headlines that had seen the show off in its final year.

''I saw a lot of feedback, both positive and negative - and I'm talking about social media there, so you get all kinds of feedback,'' she says.

There was a shift, however, when the promo campaign for the new series launched. It included a Big Brother ''dance'' and, in one very funny promo, the suggestion that even the current Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was caught up in Big Brother fever.

''At that point the feedback shifted really strongly towards being positive, which was great for me,'' Kruger says. ''They started to tweet things - that I would be a great host, that it would be a lot of fun - and that made me feel a lot better about it.

''Having said that, I know that you can't please everybody all of the time when you're on the telly. It's impossible to do that, so you've just got to do the best you can and hope people like it.''

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment...less-bother-20120803-23izj.html#ixzz22gGUJuXk


In terms of format, Nine's version will stick closely to the time-honoured template, with a live nomination show at 7pm on Mondays, daily shows at 7pm from Tuesdays to Fridays and a live eviction show on Sunday nights at 7pm. There will also be a 6pm show on Sundays on GO!, and Big Brother Confidential on Wednesdays at 9.30pm.
Woo hoo!

Hoping BB Confidential will be something along the lines of BBUK's Bit on The Side. Chances are it will be more like Uncut.

Uplate seems to be M.I.A. - and what of this 6pm Sunday puting on Go?


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WILL the new Big Brother be a ratings hit like The Block, or a dud like Excess Baggage?

^Click link to view Video of MELBOURNE AUDITIONS (Herald Sun Subscriber Exclusive)

That is the question Channel 9 executives are asking as the network gets set to take its biggest risk of the year.

Nine is making the new Big Brother "family friendly" to attract parents and kids in the 7pm weeknight time slot.

The reboot is based on the French Big Brother Secrets. All 14 of the housemates, who are now in lockdown, will be out to keep a secret from the other contestants.

A whopping 42 cameras have been installed in the new Big Brother house. Another seven mobile cameras will be out to capture action on-the-run.

There are 300 production staff and Nine will film 4368 hours of footage across the three-month run of the series, or 336 hours per week.

Producers have 12 hours to turn around each edition of Big Brother, which drew 20,000 participant applications.

"It is huge," production executive Howard Parker says. "This is twenty-four-seven for over 12 weeks. To cover that for the viewer is the pressure."

Nine has its own pressure, as TV networks have had little luck reviving hit shows from the past. Reboots of Hey Hey Its Saturday and Young Talent Time couldn't repeat the ratings magic of the originals.

Media analyst Steve Allen believes Nine will struggle to replicate Big Brother's glory years - when it was hosted by Gretel Killeen.

Allen says the biggest hurdle could be viewers memories of the raunchy, scandal-plagued original on Channel Ten.

"Big Brother has baggage, even though Nine says it has totally rejuvenated it," Mr Allen says.

"If this gets up (is a hit) it will be a stunning success for Nine."

Parker is confident Nine has got the mix of contestants right.

"They will all have very different life experiences," he says. "There is going to be a lot of good, interesting, clean controversy and entertainment."

Big Brother, Channel 9, starts Monday at 7pm.

So, what has Big brother ever done for us?

The Good

CHRISSIE SWAN: The 2003 runner-up has become Big Brother's break-out star. Since leaving BB, Swan has won a Logie for her work on The Circle, hosts a popular radio show and will front Can of Worms for Channel 10 later this year.

RYAN FITZGERALD: The loveable larrikin from BB 2004 is now a regular on The Project and Before the Game for Ten.

BLAIR McDONAGH: McDonagh has forged a successful TV career as a presenter and actor with roles on Neighbours and Postcards and now Winners and Losers. Placed second in series one.

The Bad

KYLE SANDILANDS and JACKIE O take over: Host Gretel Killeen was axed and replaced as host by the Sydney radio shock jocks in a feeble attempt to revamp the series.

MERLIN LUCK: The 2004 contestant attracted controversy when he used his eviction to protest Australia's treatment of asylum seekers. Luck taped up his mouth and held up a banner reading "Free th(e) refugees" for the entire duration of his live post-eviction interview.

The Ugly

WARWICK CAPPER: The former footballer took part in the 2002 Celebrity Big Brother series. He was booted off the show for flashing his penis at then Home & Away star Kimberley Cooper during an argument.

THE TURKEY SLAP: Big Brother's Adult Only show ended its run early and two contestants - Michael Bric and Michael Cox - were evicted in disgrace following outrage over an alleged televised sexual assault on fellow contestant Camilla Severi.
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Psychologist behind Big Brother
by: Andrew Fenton
August 07, 2012 6:00PM

LOCKING up 14 strangers together, with no access to the outside world, and filming them 24 hours a day has all the hallmarks of a classic psychological experiment.
How will they react to the intense pressure cooker environment inside the house without access to support from friends and family? How will they deal with their instant celebrity upon being evicted - and finding out that Australian viewers either love or hate them? Switched On spoke to Big Brother's resident psychologist Dr Sarah Angel. Here's what we found out.

As resident psychologist she helps select the housemates and prepares them for the weird and unreal world of Big Brother.
Dr Sarah Angel: "During the experience, I'll be on hand 24/7 to assist them. I'm the first person they'll speak to post eviction - I'll debrief them."

The unreal pressure and weird group dynamics of being cooped up with strangers for an extended period of time has been the subject of NASA experiments, as it looks to send astronauts on the long journey to Mars. Although less intense, the housemates will experience similar emotions.

SA: "This is taking away distractions that people would normally have, like technology and our work and our pressure and our stress and we see the dynamics of a group. And that's been the focus of a lot of psychological experimentation over the years, the process of putting people into extreme environments or putting people into a group setting and watching it."

Twenty thousand people auditioned for a chance to become a housemate, 250 people made the shortlist and 14 contestants will enter the house. Most of them are extroverts who are open to new experiences. But they're not all in it just to get famous.

SA: "Some people are looking at it as an opportunity to have ongoing fame I guess, as a stepping stone to potential jobs. Other people are just interested in it as a life experience and you get people motivated by the competition, playing the game and getting the prize at the end."

While the producers selected people based on their character, back story and audience appeal, Dr Angel's focus was screening them for "psychological vulnerabilities".

SA: "Individuals have certain personality traits that can be can be exacerbated during periods of pressure and stress - like the Big Brother house. So if you saw them outside it might only be something you'd see ever now and then. Things like a tendency to experience anxiety or depression. But I'm also looking at coping skills, so people can have those symptoms but if they've got good coping mechanisms they could manage better in those circumstances.
One of the reasons the previous incarnation of Big Brother was cancelled, was the revulsion the wider public felt for some of the housemate's antics. The producers this time have made a conscious effort to avoid selecting… well, fame-hungry bogans.

SA: "What we're looking for basically is real people but also people that have intelligence, depth of character, and substance. I guess it's looking for those interesting people and not people who are extremes that other people can't relate to."

Sexists, racists and those with generally objectionable views won't find a platform to air them.
SA: "That's just going to cause problems for the group and for people watching it would be offensive. So anything that's too extreme or not reflective of morals that are acceptable, you're not going to want to expose people to that ‑ housemates and audience included."

Although many contestants crave attention, it can still be a big shock to become famous so suddenly when they're evicted from the house.

SA: "It's something they're not prepared for. Not only do they not know what's been going on while they've been in the house, but they have to then deal with the quick aftermath of that (fame)."
Some contestants will have to face up to the fact that Australians just didn't like them. Dealing with a negative public reaction will be difficult.

SA: "That is part of helping debrief them after the eviction. So I will update them whilst on the way to the eviction show, if that's happening. They've got to work through some of that, they've got to get some support systems, they've got to figure out what's happened. The ideal would be that they would learn from that and reflect on it.
From a psychological point of view, it's interesting to figure out why audiences seem happy to sit around watching a bunch of strangers, well, sitting around.

SA: "I think ultimately people have a little bit of voyeurism in them. It's human nature to be interested in what people do on a day to day basis. Audiences get attached to the people, they get to know then, they see them develop through the show, they feel like they're involved.

Big Brother, Channel 9, Monday, 7pm

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/news/psychol...er/story-fnejnj7h-1226444697983#ixzz22rKWT19I


She's probably the crazy cat lady that lives by the swamp between the house and the eviction stadium ;-)


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Partly BB related:

Channel Nine's Olympic ads a big bother
Neil Keene
From: The Daily Telegraph
August 08, 2012 12:00AM

AD nauseum _ it's that feeling Olympics fans get after the same advertisements for Big Brother and other upcoming shows interrupt Channel Nine's coverage, over and over and over.

And over.

But the network's saturation strategy, where the same ads are televised on high rotation throughout the Games, could backfire, according to industry experts.

Tim Burrowes, editor-in-chief of media and marketing website Mumbrella, described it yesterday as a "brute-force'' approach to promotions.

"To an extent, that approach does work because it absolutely raises awareness,'' he said.

"But it also means that people have very strong opinions going into it, one way or the other.''

"If this were a more traditional advertiser, they would probably have a far more sophisticated array of ads and different executions, but in this case it does seem like quite a limited amount and they're hitting the same group of people again and again and again with it, more than most advertisers would in such a short period of time.''

Mr Burrowes said comments on Twitter, the network's own Facebook page and other social media pages illustrated a "significant'' backlash from people who felt "bombarded'' by the ads' repetition.

TV commentator David Knox said the Seven network came under similar fire earlier this year for over-promoting shows like Revenge during the Australian Open, but they still rated well on launch.

"The enormity of the Games no longer fits a free-to-air model and they end up looking like a highlights package,'' he said.

"Nine also doesn't have a very good reputation for showing it listens and accepts criticism and it has to work better at communicating this. These are the things that get remembered and trust is integral with audiences, especially when they have so many choices elsewhere.''

"By comparison, word of mouth on Foxtel has been terrific, thanks to long-form events, multiple HD channels, a comprehensive schedule and a whiz-bang app that lets you watch events on the go.''

Nine is already feeling the heat for coverage deemed by some to be lacking in variety and focused too heavily on particular sports and Australian athletes.

More than 23,000 people had signed up to the "Channel 9 Olympics Coverage Sucks'' Facebook page by yesterday afternoon, and more than 1500 had signed an online petition calling for the International Olympics Committee to review the process for granting broadcast rights following "such a poor broadcast performance offered by the Nine Network''.

The anger has even spread abroad.

On Monday, the BBC picked up on the Australian public's discontent, running a story online about why Australians wanted less biased television coverage of the Games.

The Nine Network was not available for comment yesterday.



The Age - Green Guide, Thursday, August 9, 2012

'Has Big Brother finally grown up?'


(Click image to view larger)


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KFC and Holden sign up for Big Brother

by: Darren Davidson
From:The Australian
August 09, 201211:26AM

NINE has signed up KFC and Holden as the initial program sponsors of the latest series of Big Brother, which launches on Monday.

The free-to-air television network's sales team is looking to secure up to two additional sponsors as it explores new opportunities for advertising integration.

The winner of Big Brother will receive a Holden vehicle, and KFC will be integrated into the editorial content of the reality series. One option being explored is a KFC meal being delivered to the house if the characters obey the omnipresent Big Brother.

Nine is building on the success of recent sponsorship integration in ratings hit The Voice.

KFC will use the tie-up as a platform to roll out the next phase of its ‘So Good’ campaign, with tailored Big Brother TV advertising running on the Nine Network, and digital content running across Ninemsn and social media sites.

"We experienced unprecedented success in the first half of 2012 with formats such as The Voice and The Block, and we expect to replicate this success with Big Brother,” group sales and marketing director of Nine Entertainment Co Peter Wiltshire said.

"The format naturally lends itself to some really interesting integration concepts, and with the added involvement of social media, Big Brother is set to provide KFC and Holden with an engaging advertising vehicle," he said.

Nine has retooled the Big Brother format to be more family friendly. It will be presented by Sonia Kruger and starts this Monday at 7.00pm on the primary channel.

“The integration opportunities that both partners are implementing are really exciting, and will definitely engage the audience beyond the single screen,” Nine director of content and brand integration Lizzie Young said.



Monday 7pm: Big Brother Premiere:
Finally, it’s here! The first of our housemates are revealed. Find out their secrets and if they can keep them. How will they handle living with zero contact from the outside world, with their every move filmed 24/7?
interesting sentence we have here, so looks like Tuesday live show might actually throw more housemates in on that date

derp.. should of continued reading on..

Tuesday 7pm: Big Brother Special (LIVE): How have the Housemates handled their first 24 hours in the house? Tonight we meet more housemates and their secrets begin to unravel.
slightly annoying introducing half of them one night and half of them another night :\
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What happens when big brother is watching Big Brother?

By Pamela Weatherill - posted Wednesday, 8 August 2012

With most of us already living in a fish bowl of social media, having voyeuristic friends and colleagues watch our every (published) move, is there still an attraction towards the Big Brother reality TV phenomenon when it launches on August 13th 2012? Is the social experiment element of Big Brother Series 9 still worth a social scientist watching, four years after its hiatus and ten years after its first viewing?

Produced by Endemol Southern Star, this global reality show was loosely based on Orwell's Big Brother from his science fiction/allegory on society novel 1984. The show creates an environment where 'housemates' who are strangers to each other, yet whose every move is seen via hidden and not-so-hidden cameras, battle one another and face eviction weekly until one is left standing - and named winner.

The term 'Big Brother' is also often used to describe the phenomenon produced by social media, especially with the advent of so many mobile devices such as Smartphones and Tablet computers. The permanency of postings and Tweets, the mobile nature of devices from which to send news and photographs to social media sites, and having the majority of the population attached to social media in some shape or form, means nearly everything we do is viewable or reportable from pretty much anywhere. The only difference to Big Brother the TV show, is that social media evictions take the form of 'unfollowing' a Tweep, and voting for someone is usually in the form of a 'Like' on Facebook.

When Big Brother first aired in Australia in 2001 the Internet was well and truly becoming part of daily life in Australia. But with the advent of social media and its exponential uptake there has been a vast change in our behaviours and attitudes as both consumers and viewers. The first eight seasons of Big Brother aired alongside the growth in technology and social media. Series nines will fail or succeed because of it.

According to the Sensis Social Media report [http://about.sensis.com.au/ignitionsuite/uploads/docs/sensis social media report.pdf]

nearly 2/3rd of Australians on the internet use social media platforms. While new social media platforms come and failed ones disappear, the two major social media likely to impact on how viewers experience Big Brother Series 9 are Facebook and Twitter, which were both around for latter Big Brother series in Australia, but not to the ubiquitous state they are today. When Big Brother aired previously, blogs were a common space for dialogue, gossip and influence - but without the immediacy of Smart Phones and micro blogging platforms such as Twitter.

Facebook launched in 2004, three years after Big Brother's Australian launch. The number of active Facebook users has increased nine fold since 2008 when Big Brother last aired. With over 10 million Australian Facebook users it is fair to expect Facebook conversation about Big Brother no matter what their ratings are. At publication the official BB page already had nearly quarter of a million 'Likes' - before the show has even aired.

Twitter launched a little later in 2006. With over a million Australian users, and television producers already seeing Twitter's value in adding to audience engagement on other shows (reality or not), the Twittersphere is already agog with pre Big Brother chatter. At publication the official Big Brother Twitter account (#bbau9) had nearly seven thousand followers.

The biggest technological shift in the hiatus since the last series, is the mobility of social media with the ever increasing use of Smartphones and tablet computers. Smartphones now represent around 65% of all mobile phone and are now selling faster than PCs. [http://www.cebit.com.au/mobile/2012/future-of-mobile-smartphones-tablets-outsell-pcs ]. Remember that while Smartphones have been available since 2001, the 'industry standard' iPhone wasn't launched until 2007 and was only just beginning to catch on in Australia by the time the Big Brother series 8 was axed. Together with the social media culture shift, and increased mobile access to the internet, it is fair to expect to see an impact from Big Brother technology on Big Brother Series 9.

In Chanel Nine's first run at Big Brother, the theme for this year's Big Brother series will be about having a secret. All housemates have a secret which other housemates have to guess. We all know examples where social media and secrets really haven't mixed all that well. It will be interesting to see how long before each of their secrets are 'outted' to the Big Brother audience with so much social media and so many fans accessing it. Even Big Brother's executive producer Alex Mavroidakis doesn't think it will take the viewing public long to play detective and have the house mate secrets leak. [http://www.bigbrother.com.au/news/8511547/the-man-behind-big-brother] It's obviously not seen by producer s as a risk to the show's success.

As a technology social scientist I am interested in both the Big Brother element of social media and how the digital reporting of Big Brother will change the viewer experience. The Meta view of Big Brother watching Big Brother should be interesting to say the least. However I am also intrigued to see the effect of social media on housemates. Will housemates suffer social media withdrawal? How will social media affect voting in the new system of 'Vote to Save' housemates? How will Channel 9 use social media, and yet not distract viewers from the show? Will housemates have thought about the privacy settings on their social media sites before going into lockdown last weekend? And will having access to social media mean housemates will feel they have to live up to their current social media profiles? The combination of social media and Big Brother is an endless source of questions, and perhaps the answers will assist us to better understand the impact of social media on us all. After all, we are experiencing a major social shift and it is always difficult to see the effects, while in it.

After it's controversial axing four years ago, many are questioning whether Big Brother has any chance at being a success. With the advent of our own Big Brother in the form of social media - who knows if it will be a success or not? I know I will be hitting my own favourite social media after watching the live taping of the launch 24 hours before it goes to air - I'm happy to be part of the secret leaking phenomenon that drives reality TV. Suffice to say Big Brother social media will be watching Big Brother Series 9 and reporting its own version of the digital reality experience. As a technology social scientist, I have a responsibility to have a little peek.



Facebook launched in 2004, three years after Big Brother's Australian launch. The number of active Facebook users has increased nine fold since 2008 when Big Brother last aired. With over 10 million Australian Facebook users it is fair to expect Facebook conversation about Big Brother no matter what their ratings are. At publication the official BB page already had nearly quarter of a million 'Likes' - before the show has even aired.
Lol, I think someone needs to go back to primary school maths. They currently have 129,449 likes, hardly a "Quarter of a million".
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