Season 20 of Big Brother is currently making headlines in the United States — not only because of the crazy competition going on inside the house, but also because of host Julie Chen’s marriage to recently ousted CBS head honcho, Les Moonves. Moonves is being accused of multiple sexual abuse allegations.
The U.K. version of the hit Big Brother franchise must have been jealous of all the attention its American counterpart has been receiving, and decided to drop a bombshell of its own. Ahead of its Season 19 premiere, an announcement was made that this would be the final season of both the civilian and celebrity editions of the series.
“It’s time for this game to end,” said a September 14 post on the official Big Brother U.K.Twitter page. “The final series of Big Brother starts tonight.”
The show’s production company, Endemol Shine, released a statement — which they also posted to Twitter — explaining that they are “incredibly proud” of Big Brother and all that it has achieved on the network it has been airing on for the last seven years.
However, Endemol Shine said that it is not completely closing the door on the reality TV series just because they could “not reach an agreement with Channel 5.” The company stated that a “new chapter” has opened and “we are excited about future possibilities for Big Brother in the U.K.”
Deadline pointed out that this might mean that the popular series could wind up at “a rival broadcaster, or potentially a streaming service.”
Additionally, it is worth noting that, in July, Endemol Shine filed an application to keep using the same Big Brother house. The house is located at Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, and the application asked for permission to utilize the residence for the next three years, reported the BBC. The Hertsmere Borough Council granted its approval after “discussing conditions to restrict noise.” This also alludes to the possibility that this is not really the end of the show in the United Kingdom.
Statement re: Big Brother UK on Channel 5 pic.twitter.com/0A7JUVmij9— Endemol Shine UK (@endemolshineuk) September 14, 2018
The Big Brother franchise was created by Dutch TV producer John de Mol Jr., and began airing in the Netherlands in 1999. Since then, more than 50 different countries and regions all over the world have aired versions of the series and its spinoffs, which include celebrity, all-stars, teenage, and family editions.
Big Brother U.K. first hit the air in 2000. It was shown on Channel 4 until 2010, and then on Channel 5 from 2011 up until now.
The series also began airing in 2000 in the United States. Season 20 ends later this month, and Celebrity Big Brother is slated for 2019.