Meanwhile in confirming the series for 2008, TEN has also confirmed Mike Goldman, Bree Amer and Ryan Fitzgerald will also return to Friday Night Live. There had been some speculation that Fitzgerald might leave.
What’s also interesting in TEN’s Press Release is the wording that gives the impression it was Killeen who decided to move on from BB. Not the other way round.
Programmer David Mott said, “We thought long and hard about whether there could even be a Big Brother without Gretel, so synonymous has she become with the franchise in Australia. Gretel’s wish to concentrate on new projects gave us the opportunity to start at the top in making BB08 a completely different show.”
But it is a Press Release. Networks are champions at spin after all.
Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O, hosts of Australia’s highest-rating FM radio show, will host Big Brother 2008, replacing Gretel Killeen who has decided to move on to other projects.
Network Ten (TEN) and Endemol Southern Star (ESS) made the announcement today and confirmed Big Brother’s return to TEN in a tighter, re-energised format that will be more interactive than ever before.
Gretel Killeen said: “Working on Big Brother has been an extraordinary, challenging and rewarding experience. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved but I now have the ‘seven year itch’ and am busting to get on with a million new things, including my first feature film which we’re shooting in the new year.”
David Mott, TEN’s chief programming officer, thanked Gretel for seven exceptional years as Big Brother host, saying: “We thought long and hard about whether there could even be a Big Brother without Gretel, so synonymous has she become with the franchise in Australia. Gretel’s wish to concentrate on new projects gave us the opportunity to start at the top in making BB08 a completely different show.”
Southern Star Group chief executive officer, Hugh Marks, said: “Gretel has played a pivotal role in bringing Big Brother to Australian audiences, and we can’t thank her enough for seven wonderful years as host.
“Next year with new hosts, a re-energised format and greater levels of interactivity than ever before, I’m confident we will attract a larger share of the target audience for many years to come.”
Mr. Mott added: “Although we’ll retain the elements fans know and love best, we’re making a number of changes towards what we hope will be one of the strongest series yet.
“For example, for the first time the Australian public will have a real chance to influence who goes in to the Big Brother house.”
Kyle Sandilands said: “I’m excited to become a part of the Big Brother phenomenon at a time of some exciting changes in the format. Over the years, The Kyle and Jackie O Show has been one of the most vocal commentators on Big Brother, so coming on-board to host only seemed natural.”
Jackie O said: “I absolutely love Big Brother. I’m used to having to keep Kyle in check every weekday morning but this is another challenge altogether!”
“Over seven years, Big Brother has been a consistent winner in the target 18-49 audience and delivered more than 100 hours of compelling content annually,” said TEN’s chief executive officer, Grant Blackley.
“We’re delighted to announce these exciting changes to Big Brother and return one of Australia’s most keenly-followed programs to our line-up.”
In another big change this year, anyone can submit a video audition via the Big Brother website.
Hopeful housemates need simply record a one-to-two minute video about themselves to provide insight into who they are and why they deserve one of the coveted places.
From Tuesday, October 30 2007, housemate wannabes can upload their video to www.bigbrother.com.au
Then, in December, the Australian public gets to choose! Fans can view eligible videos at www.bigbrother.com.au, rate them and vote for their favourite online.
The candidates behind the three most-voted eligible videos will win a place in the 2008 Big Brother house.
Producers will also be guided by how the Australian public voted in selecting the rest of the housemates. Watch closely Australia – this season it’s your choice!
Big Brother is one of the most enduring and successful Australian television shows ever. Even in its seventh season this year, every regular Big Brother program won its timeslot in 18-49, often with commercial shares in excess of 40% in the target audience.
The 2007 Big Brother Winner Announced program peaked at 2.3m viewers and remains number two in the year’s top shows in 18-49, with The Biggest Loser finale at number one.
Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O are Sydney’s top-rating breakfast radio team.
Kyle has also risen to national prominence as a judge on Australian Idol since 2005.
In addition to her radio commitments, Jackie is well known to television viewers across the country. Her most recent project with TEN was as host of Australian Princess.
Friday Night Live hosts, Mike Goldman, Ryan Fitzgerald and Bree Amer return to Big Brother for another year of madcap antics in Friday night games.