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October 10, 2015

Will the WGA strike bring an early winter Big Brother 9?

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 6th 2007 8:42PM
Big Brother 9 coming?The last writers strike lasted 22 weeks and played all kinds of havoc with favorite television shows. That was back in 1988, before the reality television genre really hit the big time. This time around, an extended strike may give us more reality shows (much to the chagrin of non-reality fans).

According to the Hollywood Insider Blog at EW.com, CBS and Allison Grodner (executive producer) might be putting together the first ever winter version of Big Brother, a summer reality mainstay.

With cameras filming 24/7 for an internet live feeds audience, the recent addition of three hours of live feeds available every night on Showtime's sister network ShoToo, and three episodes a week -- it's obvious why the network might be looking at Big Brother if the strike goes on past the holidays. It's filler with ratings!

Applications opened not long after the last season finished airing, plus the show actively recruits for contestants throughout the year. The house and technologies are always in place. It's just casting and getting the staff to work which would need any sort of set-up time. And, if it comes to fruition, perhaps the show fans can be spared of any odd convoluted twists and just go by the original format -- strangers living in a house.

The Hollywood Insider Blog article said CBS declined to comment, but that they heard that Allison Grodner is already hiring production staffers and that Julie Chen will return to host the show. If a winter version -- BB9 -- airs, it shouldn't affect the regular summer season. It would be just an added bonus season for show fans.

Of course, if the writers strike ends before the holiday season, all bets on the possibility of a Big Brother 9 in January are off.

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A wintertime Big Brother!! That would be so great!! I really hope it comes to pass. Have we all been watching Dr Will on Dr 90210...he is very cute and charming,...and smug and smarmy, too. But I love him. He can botox my lips any ol' time. Auntie Leigh in Santa Cruz

November 08 2007 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

Here's my proposal for a "Celebrity" version of "Big Brother" for the winter season.

1. The contestants: the heads of the major motion picture and television studios plus the negotiating team from the AMPTP. Also in the house, the negotiating teams from the Writers Guild of America (East and West), the Screen Actors Guild, and the Directors Guild of America.

2 Rules changes. There are no evictions. The game ends when all three guilds and AMPTP sign a contract and the members of each guild approve it. Every week something is taken away from the participants. For example after the first week they lose the use of the pool, after the second week the hot tub. Eventually they will have lost hot water, most toiletries and personal hygiene products (except toothpaste - that's right, no soap and they lose their electric tooth brushes early too), and will have to subsist on Big Brother Slop.

3. Each broadcast network will show two hour a day of the people in the house. each network will also dedicate one of their cable channels to showing everything in the house, totally uncensored - this should be possible because each network is bound to have channels with nothing to show but reruns.

4. In the event of a houseguest committing physical violence against another housequest the guilty party will be forced to watch a marathon of "The War At Home", and "According to Jim."

November 08 2007 at 2:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Filler with ratings" That would actually be funn-ay if it weren't so damn true. God I hate reality shows. That being said...

@Lucyfan (and others) I seriously doubt that there will be a celebrity version of BB. The celebs are more and more showing up on the picket lines to support the writers. Yes I know reality shows don't "use" writers in the usual sense, but the WGA is striking against the studios and production houses. If the celebs are standing up against the studios, how could they possibly justify helping the studios "get by" without the writers? If the strike goes long enough there will most likely be a winter BB9 (*groan*), but if there are any celebrities, don't expect them to have any really good dialogue once they get back to regular shows after the strike is eventually resolved.

November 07 2007 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vito The TiVo

An excellent explanation of what the WGA is striking for:


Support the strike in your own way. Refuse to watch any of the reality crap that the network are going to shove down our throats by January.

November 07 2007 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jackie, I saw the rumor about a celeb version on MSNBC. Here's a link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21645187/

Celeb or non-celeb, I'd be pleased as punch for some more BB to get rid of the bad taste left in my mouth by Daniele and Evel Dick!

November 07 2007 at 7:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent McKee

"I thought Reality TV used writers just as much as regular TV... Are they not part of the writer's union?"

Short answer is no. In fact its one of the issues in the Writers' Guild strike. Reality TV writers tend to be listed as "story producers" or "production assistants" or something like that, and they aren't covered by the Guild's rules (or the benefits such as health care that Guild contracts provide).

I sort of expected a winter season of Big Brother - it's an established franchise after all with a built in audience. It's a lot easier to get something like that up and running than it would be to start something completely from scratch. I'm okay with this as long as I get another season of The Amazing Race as well. Actually I'd really prefer another season of The Amazing Race instead of a winter season of Big Brother but as well as works for me.

November 07 2007 at 2:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Reality TV used writers just as much as regular TV... Are they not part of the writer's union?

November 07 2007 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the first news story that has made this strike totally worth it. I love Big Brother and it would be perfect to fill the gap left by the other shows. Now I'm excited I hope it's true.

November 07 2007 at 12:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The comments here disturb me some...

Hey, reality TV? Not a big fan. Big Brother? Even less so. Still - I have no problem with these shows.. AS IS.

But the prospect of more... due to a aftereffect of a writer's strike....

Along with the prospect of the majority (so far) of comments stating that "Hey, cool"... "Sounds good"...

Ouch. Speaking as a fan of things like Lost, 24, Prison Break, Friday Night Lights....

This kind of reaction doesn't really give me any warm fuzzies.

November 06 2007 at 11:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jackie Schnoop

LucyFan -- After I read your comment, I looked at various sources as I hadn't read anything about a celebrity version. What I found is that open casting calls have started (Nov. 18 here in the NYC area). So, it looks like non-celebrities. Where did you read the rumor about a celebrity version?

November 06 2007 at 11:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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