Yup! That’s right! CBS will air a Celebrity Big Brother in winter 2018.
It’s still early but word is that the new version of the show will air on CBS and will feature multiple episodes per week. This will apparently include both Head of Household, Power of Veto competitions (unlike the UK version which is fan voted) and live evictions. CBS All Access will also still offer 24/7 live feeds. Julie Chen will of course host the celebrity edition.
Julie told The Hollywood Reporter about her conversation with husband and CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves, “He said, “You and your show are single-handedly keeping this network afloat during the summer. You’re keeping this network running.'”
She also added, “If you know one thing about my husband, it has to make economic sense. They crunched the numbers and said, ‘Based on the following we have, we can do it and make it work and make it profitable.’”
The U.K. has a celebrity version of Big Brother and has had celbrities like Pamela Anderson, Gary Busey, Stephen Baldwin, Perez Hilton, Ivana Trump, and MTV’s Spencer and Heidi Pratt appear on the show. Casting is currently hapoening and the cast will be revealed at a later date.
The Hollywood Reporter called up Julie Chen and returning executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan of Fly on the Wall Entertainment and did a phone interview.
THR: What are the mechanics that will need to go into making the new edition work?
Meehan: We’re going to keep what makes the show work including the HoH and Veto [competitions] and the live evictions. The challenge will be turning it into an event that feels special for the winter.
Grodner: It’s important that it still feels like Big Brother, but it doesn’t infringe on what we all know about the summer. It will have its own spin. And it needs to feel like an event series that we do each year.
Chen: The magic is always in the casting. It’s the same thing whether you’re a celebrity or not a celebrity. [Houseguest] Cody [Nickson] this year is an example of someone who was on the cusp that certain people were fighting for [to cast] and other people wanted someone else. It’s going to be the same game. The concept is going to be the same. Hopefully it will be household names.
THR: Other celebrity variations of reality TV cast mid-level talent. Are you aiming higher than that?
Chen: We’re being realistic. It’s not going to be all Oscar winners. But maybe we’ll have someone who won an Oscar decades ago. Whoever casts Dancing With the Stars does an amazing job. They don’t always get all household names, but some people kind of reinvent themselves and suddenly I see that person all over the tabloids. Sometimes these types of shows, like in the U.K. [version], some of the washed-up names that went into it got a new lease on life. And the big names that went in, it was a little bit too up close and personal. Those people did themselves in with letting the public see who they really are.
Meehan: We’re just starting discussions and we’re looking for people who are going to be fun. Maybe there are some celebrity fans of the show that we’ll mix in there. We’re going to create a big list and go out and see who we can get.
Grodner: It will be an eclectic group with diverse personalities and we’re looking forward to seeing who will be interested.
THR: Former houseguest Frankie Grande appeared on the U.K. version. Are you ruling out former players?
Grodner: We’re now just diving into it so can’t give any answers on that. It’s all still being worked out on what it’s going to look like.
THR: Do you plan on switching up the house and studio for the celebrity version?
Grodner: It’ll certainly be a new look.
Meehan: There will definitely be some things different about the house because we’re doing it more of an event instead of a three month series. There will be some tweaks and changes to the rooms and the outside that will be necessary.
Grodner: And it’s a winter edition so we need to think about weather. The outside will reflect that.
THR: Who are your dream gets for the series?
Grodner: [Wednesday night’s] show you saw Bobby Moynihan, who is an amazing fan who really knows everything and couldn’t have been more excited to participate. That would be awesome.
Chen: Tonya Harding. Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, that’s a love affair waiting to happen. Sean Spicer and Melissa McCarthy, which will never happen. Andy Cohen is a super fan, hilarious and speaks his mind. He’s not afraid to stand up for himself or a friend and he’s fiercely loyal. And who is the one who acts crazy every now and then? Is it Shia LaBeouf? I don’t know if I want him.
Who do you want to see cast in the celebrity edition on CBS?
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