Big Brother is coming back on Channel 5

According to Mediaguardian. And this news comes just eight or nine months after it might have caught any zeitgeist.

Good luck with that.

Amongst the Big Brother chat, it’s worth pointing out that a shady individual sent us a link to a Paddy McGuinness pilot called Walk the Line. To save you wading through the BB debates, this link will take you to the relevant point.

78 Comments

  1. Joe says:

    Brilliant news, people. The daddy of reality shows is back and will be a big success for Channel 5.

    • Travis P says:

      Probably will be. The mega fans will be happy as the 24 hour live is also returning.

      • Joe says:

        24 hour live feed was back for BB11 anyway. It wasn’t available for BB10 at the request of Channel 4 but that changed the following year.

  2. Dan Peake says:

    The article says they’d be keeping the format roughly the same – I’d like to see it go more along the american format of Head of Household, Veto Comp, Vote, and make it more of a competition. Still, pigs might fly.

    • Joe says:

      No No No. British viewers would hate that. Research has been done regarding the format and nearly everyone surveyed said that BB should be the normal format without any Veto, HOH, Immunity, whatever else you can think of. The US format would never work in the UK because viewers in the UK don’t like “gameplayers” whereas in the US viewers are much more accustomaed to backing “gameplayers”

      • Brekkie says:

        You’re just proving there how out of touch folk at Endemol are. Up until around BB7/8 it was fair to say that wasn’t the way to go, but as a regular on various forums around BB9 there was a notable acceptance amongst long term fans that big changes were needed for the show to survive and that in the wake of recent controversies focus needed to shift to being more about the game and the experience rather than treating the housemates as characters. Towards the end even Davina – a self confessed purist – could see such change was necessary.

        Endemol though just couldn’t be arsed putting any such effort in – and then wondered what on earth happened when C4 turned around and axed them. And C5 soon to will discover exactly why BB was axed unless they are bold enough to relaunch the show completely, rather than pick up where it left off (though to be fair, it left off in a hell of a lot better place after BB11 than a year earlier).

        • Brekkie says:

          P.S. As for the public not liking gameplayers – you only have to look at Nasty Nick to disprove that theory. Victor, Makosi and Rex also show how much the public actually love a gameplayer – as long as that gameplayer doesn’t play the public.

          • Joe says:

            Changing the format will be completely the wrong thing to do. It’s been discussed (and settled) that the core format for the first series on C5 remains exactly the same as what it was on Channel 4. Ratings for the last couple of series rose and this is down to the contestants and tasks. Viewers are happy with the nominations/eviction format, there might be some tweaks but there certainly will not be any going down the BB US route.

            People may have liked the HOH format in BB9 but that was only for a few weeks and that was not as full on as the BB USA format. I can assure you that plenty of audience research has been done in the last few months regarding this and the overwhelming response from the fans of the show is that they want to core concept to be the same.

            Can you imagine the backlash there’d be if the new BB had changed the concept, took away public vote, had HOH, vetoes, allowing nominations talk and so on. That would be absolutely ridiculous. The fans who finished off watching the show on C4 have responded to numerous surveys to say that they like the current concept. Tweaks, of course, will be made in order to keep the show fresh but that will absolutely not be going down the BB US route which BB UK fans in the majority dislike.

            Your statement about Endemol not being arsed to change anything is untrue. In the last few years Endemol found it extremely difficult to freshen up the show due to the tight restrictions Channel 4 put around the show following the 2007 scandal. We were fighting against a tide which had already decided to axe the show. But format changes were made such as the introduction of Save and Replace competitions in BB11 which went down well with viewers and ratings for the last three series were up 20% due to some tweaks we made such as the introduction of Tree of Temptation, eviction night tasks, better casting, a more “back to basics” format.

            Are you the same Brekkie who has made blogs on bbspy. We’ve read the blogs laughing our socks off at the ridiculous suggestions and allegations you’ve made, not even taking into consideration various factors such as budget restraints, legal cases, contracts and more. We always seek to listen to fans of the show, including yourself, but I’m afraid you’re in the minority when it comes to making BBUK into BBUSA.

            • Joe says:

              We have received huge numbers of emails saying not to change the format to BB USA. For a show like BB UK airing 7 nights a week, having the HOH, POV, Non-Public vote element that BB USA has would not work, especially with the chronological way BBUK is made, unlike BBUS which broadcasts events in a non-chronological order. The gameplay element would not work.

              Also research has shown that the majority of our viewers are young females and from studies carried out, most of these people watch BB UK for the reality element rather than gameplay element. The producers of the show have to stick to what the target audience of the show enjoys. Brekkie, you may enjoy the gameshow element but you’re in the minority. This is absolutely something which has been considered in the past but following a huge amount of research, it has been discovered that the BBUS format would not translate well. The last thing which should be done for BBUK’s return on CH5 is to change the format which could alienate the hardcore fanbase.

              The production arm of Endemol who are producing the new series is ‘Initial’ not ‘Remarkable Television’ like the last few series. Fresh blood will be brought in, there will be tweaks to the show, but fans of BB can rest easy: there absolutely 100% will not be a change to the BB US format.

            • bbspy says:

              And there was me thinking those Views articles fell on deaf ears. They were a lot of fun to write. :D

              Obviously I’m a huge Big Brother fan very excited that Big Brother will be back on Channel 5, but I’m concerned about C5′s plans to air three series back to back – surely that will only harm BB more in the long run?

              Intrigued it’s in Initial’s hands now though and I can’t wait to find out who the executive producer is.

          • Gizensha says:

            If said research consisted of asking people, then it was flawed. The reactions to Nasty Nick pretty conclusively puts a damper on those who claim not to like game players, I’d agree. People, quite simply, very often don’t know what they want.

    • Brekkie says:

      Your arrogrance is astounding Joe. What was most frustrating when the show was axed was it was axed after Endemol had tried nothing to keep it going. It wasn’t until the axe fell that Endemol even tried tweaking the most minor of things.

      I’d much rather see C5 completely transform the show and it not work rather than just settle for same old same old and it still get axed.

      • Brekkie says:

        P.S. You also highlight a key problem – you’re taking comments from the people still watching, not those who’ve deserted you in their millions for very valid reasons.

        And nobody is talking about dropping the public vote – the Head of House concept and more competitive elements such as the Veto can be incorporated alongside traditional elements such as nominations and the public vote. Big Brother Brasil proves that – and it is by far the most successful version anywhere in the world.

        And I appreciate it’s easy as a fan to suggest such things without being in the reality of the situation where it is “work” – and that is one of the biggest problems I have with this deal because even if Endemol wanted to make such changes, their brief is probably boobs, bikinis and a pool!

        • Joe says:

          No my arrogance is not astounding, it’s your arrogance. The way you’re writing off the show just because it’s now moving to Channel 5 is astonishing. You have no idea at all how difficult it is working on these shows in reality and even trying to implement your suggestions would be difficult because producers at Remarkable Television had to get permission from Channel 4 about absolutely everything every single day.

          You don’t understand how the business works. The millions of viewers who have deserted the show aren’t going to suddenly return now, particularly because it’s moving to Channel 5 where viewing figures will be lower. It is absolutely imperative that the show appeals to the current fanbase because making wholesale changes will only alienate them which is the last thing we want to do. We did indeed appeal to our fanbase in 2010 by keeping the core format the same but with better tasks and casting, and the ratings rose over 20% compared to the previous year. It proved to us that viewers like the core format.

          Refreshing a show in the manner you’re suggesting almost always doesn’t work. Programmes in recent years such as The Bill and others which I shan’t mention have tried to be refreshed in order to bring back old fans but in the process it has alienated the current fanbase. An established brand like Big Brother will not be bringing in ‘new’ viewers after 12 years. It will have to appeal to its current core fanbase and we are not going to make that same mistake that the producers of The Bill made.

          There will be slight changes, naturally. But not in the way being suggested whereby we do a BB US copy. There might be a few weeks of HOH and tweaks like what we’ve done in previous series, but in no way shall the core format of the show be significantly changed.

          • Brekkie says:

            Trouble is Joe not doing anything risks depleating those still watching even further. It’s about risk-reward at the end of the day – though unfortunately we are in a climate where television is reluctant to take risks at the moment.

            I absolutely though think it would be a mistake just to do a “few weeks” of HoH again as you did in BB9. The BB9 HoH/Heaven & Hell format was very, very good – but somewhat depleated by producers lack of faith to dive into it from the beginning. What really undid it was in the following Celeb BB where after making a big deal of HoH in the first week and it leading to some very interesting posturing for position amongst the HMs it was swiftly ditched without a trace the next week – and interest went too. And BB10 failed because it didn’t develop on what had worked a year ealirer.

            I do feel like I’m talking too much about Head of House here as it isn’t the only route to go, but Head of House can be introduced without swerving too much from the original format. Based on BB11 just keeping the traditional rules and Save & Replace, but throwing in a HoH who is immune and also gets a place in the Save & Replace task would be enough to just add a new element which runs throughout the show.

            Getting back to basics though and the number of contestants needs to fall, and the show needs to be allowed to actually wind down in it’s final few weeks, not keep as many contestants as started BB1 in the house until the week before the final.

            It really frustrates me the argument that more HMs means it’s more entertaining – the final week of BB1, BB2 and BB3 are much more memorable than those that followed, largely because a small group of 3-4 people who didn’t necessarily get on were forced too. Six or so remaining means divisions can remain till the very end and we just don’t get that closure the series needs.

            • Travis P says:

              Hopefully they will learn for the revival and reduce the number of housemates. I think it was either BB9 or BB10 they had so many coming and going in the house that all of them could fill the wings on Deal or No Deal.

    • sphil says:

      for the first time, i believe, EVER, i believe i agree with joe on this, changing to the american format wont really help it i dont think, it would only alienate.
      that said, i disagree that it will be a ‘big success’ but it will certainly fill the hours, especially for five*.

      that said, it should do moderatly well, some people will still watch, but i cant imagine much more than 1mil for nightly viewers to be honest.

      i wonder if joe would like to give us some long term ratings ‘success criteria’ now, so we can or cant lambast him when he claims its huge success if it isnt performing?

  3. Alex says:

    The Daily Star had this on their front page a while ago, but it was April Fool’s Day, and it WAS in the Star…

    Still, it’s true, and it’s on 5, so I assume the ratings to be in the tens, ha bloody ha.

    • Joe says:

      You might laugh but Big Brother has a good vocal fanbase. The last series on Channel 4 was getting 3m viewers which Channel 4 are now incapable of apart from Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and Million Pound Drop ;)

      It’ll drop to nearer to 2m on Channel 5 but the show will be pulling in a significantly larger audience than what the channel usually gets, a much younger demographic that will appeal to broadcasters, a fantastic opportunity for product placements (some of which will be signed within the next 3 weeks) and the show will drive up audiences for the 5* channel, Five.TV website and Daily Star/Express newspapers. It’s a win win on all accounts for Channel 5 and Endemol.

  4. Mart with an Y not an I says:

    Media Guardian really are the prophets of doom tonight.

    Celeb BB runs from August for 4 weeks, then civillian BB kicks in until Christmas, then another series of Celeb BB from Jan. Christ. (and that will mean 3 months of Jordan/Peter Andre to be the ‘surprise’ housemate on the front cover of RD’s papers every feckin day between now and the summer…)

    Still, at least the Elstree High Street branch of Tesco will be happy that all their profit targets for the last 6 months of 2011 will be met.

    Saturation coverage on 5 (and 5*)..
    Saturation coverage in the Daily Express..
    Saturation coverage in the Daily Star
    Saturation coverage in Now..

    Nurse, the loaded gun to my head, please….

    • Joe says:

      You shouldn’t be reading the Daily Star in the first place, if you want to avoid BB news or celebrity gossip ;)

      • Mart with an Y not an I says:

        I don’t Joe – the Racing Post or The Guardian is my paper of choice, but I mention the Daily Star because..

        a) Five Live’s paper review at 6.20am in the morning always mentions the front cover of The Star and I’m depressed at the moronic treadmill of same headlines day after day.

        b) It’s staring down at me like a septic wart in the newspaper wrack when I breeze past it to pick up my mid-morning melon and grapes in my Sainsburys local on my way to work.

        I feel that this commission does nothing for the re-energizing brand of Big Brother either here in the Uk or in the format sales houses around the world.

        The format should have been rested for 2-3 years after the Channel 4 years before bringing it back – not less than 320 odd days after the last series. When it came back, it would have then attracted a new audience – and – some of the deserters during the last few years on 4.

        Sending it to 5 won’t do either. The audience will be made up of it’s core Channel 4 fans, and any other stragglers the front to sports page coverage the Daily Express and Daily Star will be forced to put out at the behest of R.Desmond can pick up.

        Still, given the financial troubles Endemol are in, any commission that this provides for them, so people like Joe aren’t let go to save the coins can only be a good thing.

  5. David B says:

    If there is to be more BB, at least 5 is the right home for it. I feel a bit sorry for 5 really – sometimes they have quite good programmes and ideas, but they just don’t get the funding they need to make a proper impact.

    Of course, it would have been a lot better all round if C4 stopped BB about 3 years earlier, and 5 bought it up 3 years earlier.

    But given the pots of money this could make for all concerned, this is quite a smart move on paper. I just hope some of the pots get put back into the programming budget for other shows.

    One thing that’s certainly true is that 5 haven’t been taken for a ride – Richard Desmond has bargained so hard that he’s no longer on speaking terms with the Endemol exec responsible, and it was actually a major Endemol shareholder (anxious to make their shares worth something…) that intervened to get talks back on track.

    • Brig Bother says:

      If what they’re saying is right, a £200m deal for two years, I can’t help but feel that Endemol are getting the better end of the deal by quite some way. I’d be very surprised to see this break 1.5m a night, although doubtless these would be respectable figures for Channel 5.

      • David B says:

        I think some wires have got crossed in the reporting. When they first bandied around the £200m figure, it was for a 4 or 5 year deal. Now that a deal’s been done for two years, there’s no way the price tag is still £200m. Channel 4 were paying £70m per year by the end of their tenure, so I’d think the most you could get 5 to stump up is more like £50m a year.

        • Brig Bother says:

          I did wonder that, I’m sure the true figures will come out in the wash.

          What is going to be interesting for me is the role of opinion formers – Desmond’s papers don’t sell brilliantly, OK sells what, half a million? There is no reason to think that the big sellers – The Sun and The Mail, Heat Magazine, will get behind the show at all. The fact it’s on Channel 5 already makes it fairly easy to ignore, whether this is fair or not. It would be fairly simple to say they’re post-Big Brother now, and it’s past it, and that is likely to influence people whether this is fair or not. And once everyone has decided it’s a failure then that tends to be the end result.

          I am not anti-Endemol, I am not anti-Big Brother (we used to do Fantasy Big Brother for big cash prizes back when we could be bothered to spend an hour a day watching it, which was a long time ago)… but I’ve moved on and I suspect more people than Five would like have done the same. I suspect I will watch the opening night and the first few days with the best of intentions then, meh. Launching during the hottest month of the year isn’t going to help either.

          • Joe says:

            Don’t believe the figures you read in the papers. It’s nowhere near £200 million. I can confidently tell you that Channel 5 are paying almost half of what Channel 4 were during the last few years of their contract.

  6. David B says:

    It’s Wheel of Fortune’s most nonchalant letters turner:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukoFWJstOiI

    Also, it seems, some “do he solve it or not?” controversy.

    • Dan Peake says:

      I’m going to ask – when she touches the letters does it actually do anything? It is a giant touch screen or (more likely in my opinion, but i could well be wrong) does some graphic lackey animate it?

    • Ryan says:

      I haven’t seen many foreign language versions of Wheel, but is helping by the host in the bonus a regular thing?

      • Setsunael says:

        Spanish version of Wheel has a quite relaxed set of rules – in the maingame, the host will always encourage players to aim for the biggest wedges available, usually telling them how to spin the wheel or warning them while they’re ahead (a trend that seems to start with every version made since our “meh” French relaunch some years ago – as our host strongly helps players to aim for the big prizes … the problem being that selected contestants are dumb enough to not understand how to control the wheel and try not to land on a Bankrupt)

        Also, the spanish BR is quite particular as the set of given letters (CLXGA) is not really an equivalent of RSTLNE – not helping much usually… you’ll be happy of the board is half-filled after choosing consonants/wowel. – and the BR puzzle is always two or three heavily linked things/people/places , so knowing one of the three could be a serious help on usually hard to decipher puzzles.

        • Brig Bother says:

          I found it quite interesting in the French show how there seemed to be lower amounts and prizes on the wheel as the show progressed. I wonder why that was?

          • Setsunael says:

            That’s not exact, i’d say.

            R1 has a €1000 and a €1500 wedge (mostly to build JP) + rubbish prize

            R2 has the €2500 prize “Cavern” (carriyng over to R3 if not claimed) + €500 prize linked to the puzzle after solving it.

            R3 has the JP wedge (usually worth 4000-5000€) then the Hold-Up special after JP is claimed (land on it, call a good consonant, steal an opponent’s money accumulated during this round)

            R4 has the trip prize and Bankrupt/€10,000/Bankrupt.

            In addition, there’s always a €150/half-car/€150 wedge in every round, a Wild Card (extra consonant @ BR) up for grabs.

            • Brig Bother says:

              Oh that’s interesting, thanks very much. I’m sure in the episodes I’ve got (which were a few years old now) there are two rounds with the prize cavern, but it’s worth less in the second round, and there’s no steal element (although that might be because no-one landed on it I suppose). And the top money on the wheel decreased (Although I think there was also a holiday in the final round). I might look this up.

              • Setsunael says:

                It got several fixes and added bonuses through each new season – this is something like the 6th run of the modern series this year.

                • Ryan says:

                  While travelling through France in Nov/Dec 2009, I caught myself watching the show in my hotel room and enjoying it very much. I really like their spin on the traditional format, especially the toss-up money being in jeopardy (HA!) in the subsequent round.

                  There is a clip that I can’t find right now mind you, but it shows the sheer humour of the Caverne round.

  7. Brig Bother says:

    Meanwhile I’ve JUST been sent a link to this: a pilot for Paddy McGuinness show Walk the Line:

    http://videos.codeparticle.com/video/geturl/walk-the-line-pilot-2011

    I’m now going to watch it.

    • Chris says:

      First 15 mins – it has a charm about it in the chaos – I’d like to see more of the quiz though.

      • Brig Bother says:

        It strikes me as quite a tedious way to spend a day really, of which we get to see the ‘exciting’ highlights. The jackpots seem a bit small given the perceived length of time the game appears to run for. I think there’s the germ of a good idea in there though.

        It does feel a bit cheap.

        The question master sounds like Nasty Nick Bateman. It’s probably not though.

    • Chris says:

      45 mins in now and it is starting to get tedious – It needs more format ideas to stop becoming stale

      • Brig Bother says:

        Mmm, I can’t think of any real reason to watch a second one.

        • art begotti says:

          I’m stopping after 20 minutes, but mostly because I’ve got other things I need to be doing. I think this would be fun as an occasional one-off, but I don’t think that, in its current format, it would be interesting as a weekly series. I do like it though, and I’d call it a pretty good idea, if not a great TV format.

          But what if… What if it were pared down to say, ten players/teams, and done in a studio? I think you could still keep the manic pace of the mini-games with the intensity of the trivia pod, and keep it all fresh pretty easily. It’d be like Number One, but with that aforementioned Born Lucky edge.

      • Chris says:

        Probably being captain obvious but pilot was played for lower stakes

        http://www.bristolmedia.co.uk/2011/1/20/walk-the-line-pilot-game-show-bristol

        Overall – The concept is good and is well developed for a pilot but it lacks a certain something – It needs more ideas to avoid being stale. 6/10

        • Brig Bother says:

          http://walktheline.co.uk takes you to 20th Century Fox.

          I think 6/10′s a bit generous, it felt like highlights of an event (the event being some queueing) rather than a gameshow, and I don’t think it translated well. As I’ve said, I think there’s the grain of a good idea so it’s not like it’s a complete waste or anything.

          • Brig Bother says:

            I also don’t think it helps that it doesn’t feel like we’re getting chronological order – the jackpot goes up and down with no real rhyme or reason and when people add money to it in a bonus game, I found it quite difficult to give a damn really.

            Also without a sense of scale of the line, it’s difficult not to feel a bit “so what” to find out that someone has won a challenge and skipped a few places.

            • David B says:

              Whoever was the producer and director on that pilot needs sacking. The lack of health and safety was terrifying.

              You must not ask contestants to run down a set of stairs, and furthermore to do it in costume is just asking for trouble.

              It’s OK for contestants to run short distances on a large obstacle-free studio floor, otherwise the most you can ask them to do is a kind of “run/jog” where it looks like they’re running but really it’s jogging at walking pace.

              • Joe says:

                The core format is genius. With some additional format changes so it doesn’t feel boring, Talkbalk Thames have a hit on their hands.

                • Joe says:

                  Also I notice a lot of “actors” and “professional extras” were in that pilot, some of whom I’ve worked with! Also noticed a few ex-Take Me Out contestants.

                  Walk The Line is a great idea. The pilot dragged on a bit but it was 55 mins long which is longer than the usual 45 mins it would be on telly. A few format alterations could make this show massive, it’s great.

                • Brig Bother says:

                  Yeah, I spotted that wizard bloke in the line-up.

    • I liked this more than most; it has Big Dumb Saturday Night Show written all over it, but I like the logic and the way it feels. It could do with being a bit snappier, and I’m not sure that I’d want to watch it two weeks in a row unless there really is a lot of variety. In truth, I fear that – game show economics being what they are – the best way to do this would be to film a load of shows on successive days then spin them out one at a time, as Bank Holiday specials, fillers between series or somesuch, spaced out a few months apart over the course of a couple of years.

  8. Joe says:

    And why does Bother’s Bar discuss Big Brother anyway? It’s not a game show, it’s a reality show and always has been one.

    I don’t see Bother’s Bar discussing other reality shows like X Factor, Strictly, I’m a Z-eleb. What’s with the BB fascination?

    • Alex says:

      Fantasy X Factor says “lol really?”

      • NJ says:

        It has a game element, therefore is a gameshow. Or at least falls under that umbrella. Survivor is also reality, but comes under gameshow as well.

        • Gizensha says:

          More specifically – Big Brother is the first major example of the ‘reality television’ subgenre of gameshows, as opposed to the ‘reality television’ subgenre of documentary series.

          …I also wouldn’t describe Strictly, X Factor, etc as reality television, they’re talent shows which, if televised, are a staple example of gameshows.

    • Brig Bother says:

      Of course it’s a gameshow. What are you on about?

      The actual remit for Bother’s Bar is “anything I want”. You may also have guessed that Brig Bother isn’t my real name, but it *is* quite similar to something that already exists. WHAT COULD IT BE?

  9. Gary says:

    If these comments sections are just gonna be Joe spamming it with drivel every single day about how wonderful big brother and million drop is and every other show is terrible, they’re gonna be unreadable. See you in the poker chat.

    • NJ says:

      Its ok, he’s just getting more aggressive now there’s something damn near everyone has doubts about. Drop at least has its fans, but pretty much everyone was burnt out on Big Brother by the end, and with it being Endemol’s super-mega-franchise it needs to be defended to the Bar’s viewership of about 30 people.

    • Brig Bother says:

      Whilst I understand Endemol Joe is often too much effort for not enough reward jt seems reasonable to let him defend Big Brother.

  10. Jennifer Turner says:

    From The Independent: TV game shows explore a kinder, gentler side. Apart from “Holding Out For A Hero” and “You Deserve It”, this amounts to “Jamie’s Dream School” (game show?!), something with Noel’s “Grab A Grand” as its endgame, and “The Village”, which they’ve failed to notice is the disastrous “Love Thy Neighbour”.

    • Brig Bother says:

      I was alerted that there are videos of You Deserve It and Money Grabbers on the MIPCOM blog, although I had a quick look a few nights ago and couldn’t find them.

    • Gizensha says:

      Oh, shame. I was hoping there was some indication of team-based games without a betrayal aspect were making a come back when I saw the title of the article (Crystal Maze, Knightmare, etc), but, yeah, I agree that it’s unlikely to be a trend, especially considering the lack of consistency in results for the concept.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Agreed. I’m really tired of Joe filling this up with spam. Plenty of gameshow developers regularly use this forum to get feedback on shows and skipping through his mindless propaganda is getting very tiring.
    This site will work a lot better if industry people just observe and don’t get involved.

    • Joe says:

      Ok, I will not post as much from now on :)

    • It’s Brig’s site and Brig makes the rules.

      As one punter among the four and a half of us participating under thirteen and three-quarter different names (*), I quite like industry people participating here, and I can think of quite a few different ones we’ve had here over the years, to greater or lesser extents. I happen not to care for partisanship and I really don’t care for the way that the industry seems to – in all but a very few cases, and I award shiny stars to those noble exceptions – drive out the humility in its participants. Informed opinions are interesting and valuable, particularly inside information from sources we aren’t going to get anywhere else. It’s very easy to reflect badly upon your work and your company’s work, though, by acting like a git.

      (*) Counting all the number of different browsers I seem to need to tell you I’m posting from, for reasons which seemed reasonable to me at the time but which I cannot remember now.

      • Brig Bother says:

        I largely agree with this, I’m glad we’re a goto place for feedback, I’m also interested to learn the reasons why decisions are made.

        Endemol Joe bothers me less than he does a lot of people here, sure he is a so-called media professional who has hilariously crap opinions about which shows that are likely to be hits and is therefore no wonder Endemol are in such debt, but certainly he has revealed things here and elsewhere you don’t get in the official press packs.

        But he should be warned that a) I’m in charge, b) he has a tendency to push his luck a bit and c) he’s certainly not the only TV type here and I would be perfectly happy to ban if necessary.

  12. Greg (not S) says:

    I guess i am in the minority but kind of like the comments made by Joe.

    As for Big Brother, i much prefer the US format, the UK format is stale and dull, you can also get so many freaks before it gets old and the format is not what keeps us watching it is the contestents.

    In the US it is the format that has me gripped. The strategy and the gameplay is entertaining to watch and unfold. If you will not switch to an all out US format then please just let them discuss nominations, it would add something to the show and give much more entertaining footage.

    • Brekkie says:

      One thing Endemol miss in their line it’s all about the casting is that when the casting is poor (as it was in BB4/8/10), the format isn’t strong enough to maintain peoples interests.

      In the US the core format is very strong (arguably too strong and rigid actually), but that means the casting is very much secondary – and even towards the end when the cast is small and full of people you perhaps have little investment in, the format keeps you watching till the final.

      Although the hybrid of HoH/Public vote is my preferred option, it isn’t the only option. The show simply needs stripping back and rebuilding from scratch – and that could end up going in one of many directions. Moving to C5 should be treated as launching a show in a new territory, not just picking up from where C4 left off.

      That is also why the numerous spin-offs and the celeb edition shouldn’t follow BB to C5 at first either. Concentrate on the important aspects first – the show, the live feed and the website – and then if you get that working again you can begin thinking about celeb editions and spin-offs.

      • Gizensha says:

        I absolutely agree with the idea of using this as an opportunity to pair back to the core format and rebuild as appropriate. I just feel that they’d have been more likely to do so if there was a 2-3 year gap rather than this being basically ‘new series, new channel’ in terms of timing rather than an actual restart.

  13. Weaver says:

    Lots of points out of this, I’ll make one omnibus (and fairly brief) comment rather than many individual responses.

    Veto and Immunity are possible ideas, but they’d have to be handled ever so carefully, as a spanner in the works like Save and Replace was.

    It’s sensible to take ideas from the people still watching, because it’s a dickens of a task to get people back who have stopped watching, especially on Channel 5. Had BB waited a few years and come back to ITV, with a bit of nostalgia, maybe they’d have some re-adopters. Like it or lump it, BB is for yer Justin Bieber and Paramore fans, not the arthouse environment of this site.

    The press will be off-side, I expect a pincer movement from the Murdoch and Daily Mail stables, and that’ll be enough to convince a chunk of the public that the revived format is bad. Even if it turns out to be better than last year’s.

    I defend Joe’s right to make his comments: they are not indecent, they are not deliberately false, let the man speak. I also defend everyone else’s right not to hear him.

    The casting in Big Brother 4 was fine. The error was to have a double eviction when they did, taking out both Jon and Federico, the two really interesting people in the contest.

    Winner out of the whole idea is 5*, a channel that hasn’t previously had a reason to exist. Three names in five years rather tells its own story. It also gives Channel 5 something to put on overnight that isn’t call-and-lose rubbish.

    • Gizensha says:

      The trouble with taking ideas from the people still watching, even if you assume that , is that it risks further alienating the people who are still watching but aren’t impressed by the direction the show has been taking since around BB7. On top of that, Listening To The Fans can easially become be Listening To The Vocal People On Forums Who Are Unlikely To Represent The Overall Viewership – Not a gameshow, but Heroes is a very good example of the flaws in that particular plan. And asking people what they want rather than looking at the evidence of what they want is a recipe for disaster, it has been remarked that when SJGames releases a GURPS book that there is apparent demand for on the forums, it will very often get Disappointing sales, while one that no-one is asking for easially and comfortably slips into the upper echelons – People, fundamentally, do not know what they want, and while giving people what they want is a good business strategy, giving people what they say they want is often a bad way of achieving it – Especially if you start to confuse forum posters (a self selecting focus group, at best) with the general viewers.

      And I quite agree that the value Big Brother will have to Five Times is invaluable. Five Star need a hit (or at least something who’s ratings don’t look like they belong to a multichannel station) that isn’t a US import, and while Big Brother isn’t as big as it used to be, even after taking into account that some people are allergic to the 5 (and 2, and 4, but hte latter group aren’t relevent to discussion of Big Brother’s viewership) button on their remote, it should do the ratings Five Asterix need.

      I’m not sure I agree that Channel 5 have traditionally lacked purpose, however – Early on it seemed to have a defined purpose; the trouble is they went more generic after about 18 months, and since then have reimagined themselves so often, usually throwing the baby out with the bathwater in the process, as for it to have become something of a running gag in my mind – More frequently than their name changes, as well. It’s more, they have purpose, wait six months, dilute the purpose to the point people are scratching their heads, and in twelve months of floundering reinvent themselves and go back to step one, while getting rid of almost everything that doesn’t fit the stereotype of their new definition.

  14. Dan Peake says:

    Having read the headline on Digital Spy: “Berlusconi party girl linked to Big Brother”, it occurs to me that starting with a celebrity series is actually a very risky thing to do. If they don’t get any decent celebs then they’ll probably be utterly sunk. Like the titanic.

  15. sphil says:

    also, and this is a bit unlikely, but for this to be a success on c5, i think it needs to be distinctly un-5-like. the people need to be likeable, normal. actually, i think bb11 would be the PERFECT stencil to follow for them, it was, in my opinion, the best series after it had become stale.

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