Big Brother is returning to TEN with Lisa Wilkinson as host.
It will kick off the network’s 2019 ratings year with CBS ordering the series to replace I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
In a win for true believers, TEN is also returning the series to its core, with a stripped nightly show, Sunday evictions, Big Brother Up Late on ELEVEN and 24 / 7 ‘webcam’ streaming. Unlike Nine’s “family friendly” revival in 2012, TEN is promising ‘adult’ content in an MA timeslot.
CBS honcho Armando Nunez sealed the deal with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk during a flying visit last week. The show’s return to Dreamworld marks another feather in the cap for the Gold Coast.
Annastacia Palaszczuk said, “With the Logie Awards, Commonwealth Games, Tidelands, Harrow, Safe Harbour, The Family Law and Dora the Explorer, Queensland is now a powerhouse in Australia’s film & television industry. TEN’s commitment to local jobs is a win for fans and industry alike.”
Lisa Wilkinson said, “Big Brother is the grand-daddy of Reality TV experiments. Who can forget Sara-Marie’s bunny ears, Marty & Jess falling in love, or Merlin’s “Free the Refugees” protest? It is watercooler TV meets eviction confessions, and I’ve been practicing those famous words, “It’s time to go…'”
TEN Chief Content Officer Beverley McGarvey said, “We always knew TEN would return to TV’s favourite Reality show when the time was right and give fans the show they truly deserve. We can’t wait to meet the next housemates set to have Australia talking.”
The return of Big Brother will come 11 years after it ended on TEN, with a 3 season run on Nine from 2012-2014. Sources suggest it was always part of CBS’ master-plan to poach Lisa Wilkinson for the show’s revival, rather than The Project.
“Now the bigger picture is clear. Wilkinson on The Sunday Project is actually a warm-up to Sunday night evictions,” a source tells TV Tonight.
“CBS owns the Big Brother brand and it is cheaper to produce than I’m A Celebrity in South Africa. There aren’t that many hosts with both the Live TV and interview skills to make it work -you can bet Lisa won’t let anybody get away with turkey-slapping.”
CBS will also use 24 / 7 “web-cam” streaming to launch CBS All Access in the Australian market. Fan favourite Mike Goldman is understood to be finalising a deal as Up Late host, fending off strong interest from HotDogs.
“We’re baaaack baby!” he told TV Tonight.
“I’ve been rehearsing my dancing-doona impressions and bum-dancing, ready to unleash more mayhem on the Goldie! Bring it ornnnn!”
With its diehard fanbase, Big Brother is the network’s best shot to take the fight up to Married at First Sight & My Kitchen Rules.
Sources say Peter Helliar attempted to rework Cram as a possible alternative, locking himself in the Dreamworld house and throwing brussel sprouts at Fitzy & Bree but execs were just not impressed.
Update: April Fool’s thanks for playing again!
Photo: Roberto Parlavecchio