Celebrity Big Brother: Could CBS Turn To Celebrities To Spice Up Summer Reality Show?
Celebrity Big Brother has been a popular concept in the UK for years, but somehow the idea of bringing together a group of well-known entertainers and television personalities has never caught on in the United States.
There have been rumors intermittently over the course of the show’s 16 seasons that CBS may be looking to celebrities, though none has ever come to fruition. But with the show now reaching its 500th episode and its viewership growing, CBS could reach the show to a much wider audience if it were to air a celebrity version.
That was certainly the case in Britain. The first version of Celebrity Big Brother aired there in 2001, four years after the original series, and has become wildly popular. The show has generated plenty of controversy, leading to big ratings, and even helped some of the cast members become more prominent figures than before.
One of those contestants on the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother, Katie Price, was able to use the reality show to re-launch her television career.
The Celebrity Big Brother concept has already been spun off before, with a version in India known as Bigg Boss.
Though CBS has given no indication that it might try a celebrity version of the show, it has already become reliant on some familiar faces to keep ratings up. The show has a number of return players who have been inserted into multiple seasons, in part to keep the fan base connected with players they either love or love to hate.
But with an expanding audience, CBS might find that celebrities could easily take the place of these returning players. Last season the show saw an 11 percent jump in viewership, including 8 percent growth in the coveted 18-49 demographic.
In a way, it’s strange that Big Brother has made it this far without doing a celebrity season. Many other reality shows have called on celebrities to spice up seasons, especially as they get later in their runs. Both Celebrity Rehab and Celebrity Wife Swap have allowed fans to see a different side of the (mostly B-list) celebrities, and Big Brother would allow them 24/7 access to these stars.
But as long as CBS is pulling in good ratings by casting nobodies, Celebrity Big Brother might remain far off.