Big Brother 18 rumors have indicated that this could be another All-Stars season. Though these Big Brother 18 rumors have not been confirmed by CBS, show producers, or host Julie Chen, the idea continues to persist on social media. Even the BB18 website is no help to fans wanting to figure out the theme of the coming summer. Most of the summer has been used to create additional buzz for the season premiere on June 22, with subtle hints that fans should continue to “expect the unexpected” when the season does finally get started.
The Big Brother 17 ratings were lower than Big Brother 16, and it marked the fourth-straight season where the numbers had dropped. Sunday nights drew an estimated average of 6.10 million viewers, Wednesday night Veto episodes were at 6.32 million viewers, and Thursday night eviction episodes drew an estimated average of 6.09 million viewers. The numbers on each night still ranked Big Brother 17 as one of the most-watched shows during summer 2015, despite being lower than Big Brother 16.
It has been an easy decision for CBS to keep bringing back the show, but an important question is whether the Big Brother 18 rumors about an All-Star cast will help or hurt the TV ratings. The last time that producers brought back a cast of all returnees was during Big Brother 7 in 2006. 14 familiar faces from past seasons helped bump the TV ratings from an estimated 7.24 million in 2005 to an estimated 7.56 million in 2006. That small sample might indicate that All-Stars could indeed bring in more viewers.
The high-water mark for Big Brother TV ratings came during the Season 1, when an estimated 9.10 million viewers watched 70 episodes of the program. CBS had the show on TV all the time, despite having just 10 houseguests that year. Eddie McGee would end up as the first winner of the $500,000 prize and begin a trend of Big Brother airing every summer on CBS. From 2005-2015, the ratings for each season have been between 6.18 million (Big Brother 17) and 7.95 million (Big Brother 13) estimated viewers.
The last time that producers brought back returning houseguests was for Big Brother 14 in summer 2012. Four coaches were brought into the house, each of whom were given three houseguests to mentor. The four coaches were Dan Gheesling from Big Brother 10, Britney Haynes from Big Brother 12, Mike “Boogie” Malin from Big Brother 2 and Big Brother: All-Stars, and Janelle Pierzina from Big Brother 6 and Big Brother: All-Stars.
The idea didn’t go over well with fans, as the show lost an estimated 1.16 million viewers per episode (on average). The huge drop may have delayed plans to bring in a new, All-Stars cast, but it also shows that it could be a huge risk for the show to try it again. While some fans might like the All-Stars format, in principle, many have taken to social media to state that they would stop watching once their favorite houseguest gets voted out. That’s a problem producers would have to address.
Leading up to Big Brother 14 and the four coaches getting used, the program had increased its viewership and ratings share in each of the past four seasons. It’s possible that viewers just didn’t like the cast and couldn’t get behind winner Ian Terry that season. What could also be possible, though, was that viewers were tired of seeing the same familiar faces and were ready for a new group of houseguests to compete.
When the BB18 cast is revealed through the live feeds on Monday, June 13, there will be a lot of fans hoping for an entirely new group of houseguests. With the new contestants comes the mystery about how they will play the game and what they will do to win the reality competition. Interesting competitors could also help to drive ratings. Big Brother 18 rumors haven’t been ruled out, but if producers do bring back 14 familiar faces, will it cause many viewers to simply tune out? A fall in ratings could be bad for business at CBS.
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