Big Brother viewers, and contestants, are reminded every season to “expect the unexpected.” The program, now entering its 17th year on American television, deftly combines reality series and game show formats. To keep things interesting, producers regularly add twists that players do not see coming. Often, they are kept in the dark throughout the series about key game elements while viewers at home know what’s going on.
As Big Brother 16 wrapped up last September, host Julie Chen told Entertainment Weekly that one thing fans can rule out is another “All Stars” season. Over the years, many players have become viewer favorites and returned in one capacity or another. Big Brother 14 featured veteran players teamed as coaches with new contestants. Big Brother 7 was populated entirely with “All Stars.” But Chen thinks the show can be more effective if it’s all newbies inside the house.
“I think the beauty of this game is showing true fans who have never played it, who have played it just from their armchair at home, have a stab at it and realize, wow, I had no idea what I was in for. You keep the game more pure that way.”
The third season of Big Brother Canada wrapped last week. The show, similar in format to the U.S. version, had such surprises as a triple eviction. Finale night featured a Big Brother Canada first: one member of the jury was “evicted.” While inside the house, the final three had unanimously chosen whom they wanted off the jury, a twist that was not revealed to jury members until their votes were cast.
One treasured part of the experience for Big Brother fans is the live feeds that provide 24-hour access inside the house, with the exception of blackout periods determined by the network. This year, the live feeds are paired with CBS’ All Access app, which is not available in Canada. As a result, Canadian fans cannot subscribe to the live feeds of Big Brother 17, to the dismay of some viewers.
— watching #BBCAN3 (@realitytvplease) May 28, 2015
For fans in the U.S., the live feeds offer several special events leading up to the new Big Brother season. TV Grapevine reports that last year’s winner, Derrick Levasseur, will chat live on June 10. Frankie Grande, Ariana’s brother and standout contestant from Big Brother 16, will chat on June 15. The new cast will be introduced to live feed viewers on June 16.
Big Brother 17 debuts Wednesday, June 24 on CBS.
[Photo: Big Brother host Julie Chen by Michael Loccisano / Getty Images Entertainment]