UK to axe Big Brother

bbIf even Britain has given up on Big Brother you just know we’re leaving the ‘noughties.

Channel 4 has announced that it will not be renewing the series when it ends in 2010.

Kevin Lygo, Director of Television and Content at Channel 4, said the decision had been dictated more by creative considerations than commercial ones.

Big Brother is still profitable for Channel 4 despite its reduced popularity and there could have been the option to renew it on more favourable terms. That’s what a purely commercial broadcaster would have done, but Channel 4 has a public remit to champion new forms of creativity.

“That remit to push the boundaries has been an essential part of the weird chemistry behind Big Brother‘s success, but it’s now what is telling us that the programme has reached a natural end point on Channel 4 and it’s time to move on.”

Julian Bellamy, Head of Channel 4 added, “We’re very grateful to everyone at Endemol who has worked so hard to keep the show fresh and engaging for so long and to the viewers who have remained loyal to the programme and who will be disappointed by our decision. The final series will be an opportunity to give Big Brother an appropriate send-off and celebrate one of the most extraordinary programmes not just in the history of Channel 4 but of TV in general.”

In the UK where celebrity and tabloid (and the really, really bizarre) go hand in hand, BB has been obsessive viewing. Aside from its bold casting, many have argued the UK producers have brilliantly manipulated contestants across the years, some of which spilled over into controversies involving racism and violence.

This week the current housemates broke out of the house and into the camera runs, causing producers to abolish the cash prize as punishment. None of which seemed to faze the housemates. Apparently they will have a chance to build the prize back up.

Of course there is still the chance another network could pick up the BB rights.

Source: Channel 4


  1. I hope they bring back Big Brother to Australian Television and Channel 10.

    This was one of the few shows at 7pm they showed that wasn’t some long gone recycled American Sitcom No Offence to any fans but how many weeks a year can one live on Repeats of Friends,Seinfeld and Everybody Loves Raymond when they had those shows on.

  2. The UK version has rocked over the years. The aussie version was a pale and bland imitation. I will miss you Davina… still one more season and CBB to go. Let’s hope they go out on a high.

  3. The US has the best format for Big Brother, pure strategy and game play, no public voting, no popularity contest. If BB was revived here using this format I could see it doing really well. It’s a pipe dream but dammit I would love it to happen

  4. Justice for the People

    I am literally weeping tears of joy… so many years of darkness over so many lands… Thank you oh benevolent creator of goodness, thank you. Now where’s that list? Let’s see… Kevin for PM – check. Black man in White House – check. Big Brother cancelled – check. Middle East sorted – pending.

  5. The US version of BB is quite different from the Aus and UK versions and is many ways superior, in that it airs during their summer recess (you’d never have had Ten screen BB during our own summer recess) and only 3 times a week on CBS, plus it has a cable version air on Showtime that CBS owns, where more explicit adult material can be aired, so it isn’t in viewers’ faces as much.

  6. Let’s face it most of the “cast selected to go on Big Brother do so in the hope of being a Z list celebrity and getting that important invite to the opening of an envelope !

  7. ITV, Sky and Five have all come out and said they dont want it, the BBC wouldnt touch it….i think it was the person from Five who said that BB needs a break from TV for a few years before anyone would consider touching it again..

    • Nine years later, it’s interesting to note that in spite of what Five said at the time, they picked it up straight away and aired it the year after the last series aired on Four (then kept it running for eight years).

  8. The show has been poorly produced since the the Celebrity scandal in 07. The writing has been on the wall that even die hard fans were appalled at the production decisions. Even our version was better! Yet the US version seems to keep doing well.

  9. I know most comments will be WooHooing at this decision, but Big Brother really did change TV for a decade by giving the ‘reality’ genre a name and a major kickstart at the start of the decade.

    I missed the series this year on Australian TV, sad to see this show die out.

    I just can’t wait for Series 7 to start :p

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