‘Big Brother’ Producer Reveals If Houseguests Will Be Given Updates On COVID-19

The logo for Big Brother All-Stars

Big Brother is a one-of-a-kind social experiment that locks 16-17 people away in a house with absolutely no connection to the outside world. While these houseguests battle it out for $500,000, they are without their cell phones and computers and have no contact with anyone but each other and a few producers. They are not given updates on world events, making them constantly question what is going on outside their walls.

That may not be the case this season. Longtime Big Brother producer Allison Grodern caught up with Entertainment Weekly to reveal how Season 22 is coming together amid the ongoing coronavirus health crisis. When asked if the returning All-Stars would be kept up to speed with world events, specifically COVID-19, she left her answer somewhat loose.

“Yeah, and I think we’re going to take this day by day and figure out how best to work our show within these uncertain times. As of right now, the houseguests are playing as they played before. They are in this bubble more than ever, quite honestly. I mean, this bubble is so tight. We will rarely be walking into that house because every time we do where there was a massive procedure to disinfect it,” Grodner revealed.

Julie Chen hosts Big Brother
  Robert Voets / CBS

The producer went on to say that, as with in the past, if there were some sort of family emergency they would let the houseguests know immediately. Contestants on the show have had family members pass away while they were in the house, and they were informed by production and given the choice to leave the game if they wanted to. Grodner promised they would stick to this tradition, but for now, it seems to be the only information the returnees will be given if necessary.

Production has informed contestants before in instances of devastating and noteworthy news, most notably during Season 2. Three players remained in the game on September 11, 2001, and they were updated on the day’s deadly terrorist attacks shortly after they happened. One houseguest, Monica Bailey, had a cousin who went in to work at the World Trade Center that morning and, at the time of the taping, had not been heard from or located. Monica was notified of this, and it was later revealed after the show that her cousin did not survive.

If there is a dramatic shift in the ongoing health crisis, CBS will likely inform their reality stars of any pertinent information. Living in quarantine, the cast is already in the safest environment possible, especially with production following the highest standards when it comes to safety protocols.