Big Brother is headed to CBS All Access for its first-ever fall season, and now showrunners are filling in the blanks regarding the inaugural online edition of the long-running reality series. In an interview with Zap 2 It, CBS Interactive president Marc DeBevoise said the new version of the show, which is set to debut just days after next month’s Big Brother 18 finale, will be “without the restrictions of broadcast television to make it a little bit more interesting.”
Big Brother producers are completely reimagining the show just weeks before its premiere. Executive producer Rich Meehan said the revamped Big Brother will appeal to loyal live feed watchers as well as broadcast viewers.
“We’re working on trying to come up with something so the All Access people that watch the feeds, they can do what they love, but if you’re a broadcast watcher, there will be things for you to watch as well, so we’re still trying to crack what that is, but we want to be able to appeal to the full audience. We want to create times and schedules so if people just want to pop on for a key event, they can do that.”
While the execs wouldn’t confirm if past Big Brother legends will play a part in the CBS All Access version, there’s a good chance that a past Big Brother player will be involved in doing interviews during the live feeds. In addition, longtime host Julie Chen will have a “lead role in the show,” according to DeBevoise, although that role won’t be quite the same as it is on the broadcast version of the show.
Producer Allison Grodner told Zap 2 It that the all-live edition of Big Brother will feature downsized competitions, but fans will see everything play out live without any of those annoying feed blocks.
“It’s still Big Brother but it’s live — the competitions won’t be as big and all of that that we do because that’s just the way it’s going to play out. Competitions can possibly play out longer, people will be able to see everything, it won’t be blocked. You have to have some catch up [for people who don’t watch the feeds. [But] the feeds are now primary. It’s a whole new way of looking at it.”
Indeed, diehard Big Brother fans have long been annoyed by the blocked out section of the live feeds, so this will make some people very happy. In addition, Grodner said the feeds will be spicier and there will be more incentive for the Big Brother players to be awake instead of sleeping all day.
hey, Big Brother, if I wanted to see fish for this long, I'd pay to go to the aquarium, not pay for live feeds.— Brittany Cella (@__bcella) August 15, 2016
There has been some confusion as to what the fall season of Big Brother will be called. Some fans have vowed not to watch the 19th edition of the CBS reality show because they will have to pay for it, while longtime live feed viewers who have been paying for the Big Brother extras for years are slamming the show’s casual viewers.
Just found out I cant watch season 19 of big brother unless I want to pay for it— Tyler Chadwick (@Chadwick540) August 2, 2016
I've watched EVERY season of Big Brother, but season 19 will likely change that— Adrian™ (@CenterstageA) August 2, 2016
im proper fumin that i wont be able to watch season 19 of big brother because its online only— Liam (@liamti) August 3, 2016
Do I hate Big Brother? Yes. Am I gonna stop watching this season? No. Am I gonna PAY to watch season 19? Yes. Do I hate myself? Absolutely.— The Haylster (@the_haylster) August 11, 2016
I give Zero F's about casual viewers pissed off that Big Brother we'll be on the fall for CBS All Access only. Casual viewers ruin BB.#BB18— Kim is Bored (@Kim_is__bored) August 14, 2016
According to TV Guide, the broadcast version of Big Brother has just been renewed for two more summertime seasons, airing in 2017 and 2018, respectively. With those seasons officially being named Big Brother 19 and Big Brother 20, the online version is now being dubbed Big Brother All Access by fans.
CBS All Access currently costs about $5.99 a month, which is actually less expensive than the Netflix and Hulu streaming services. In addition to the digital version of Big Brother, All Access will debut several new original series, including a new Star Trek series and a Good Wife spinoff. Viewers also have on-demand access to more than 7,500 episodes of past and current CBS shows, including all the past seasons of Big Brother.
Take a look at the video below to see Julie Chen talking about Big Brother.
[Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]