“Big Brother” really is watching.
ABC intends to launch a very similar competitive reality show called “The Glass House” Monday, June 18. At this writing, its makers were proceeding with it despite a lawsuit filed by CBS, which has aired the American version of the internationally popular “Big Brother” since 2000.
Executive producer Kenny Rosen, a veteran of “Big Brother” — one of nearly 20 who CBS says used to work on that show — maintains the big difference is that rather than keeping the players isolated from the outside world, “The Glass House” will allow viewers to use social media to interact with the 14 contestants who enter a house and compete in challenges for a $250,000 grand prize.
“We’ve got some big personalities,” Rosen tells Zap2it of the rivals who will make “The Glass House” their summer home. “The whole point of the show is to give the audience the control they’ve been craving all these years in watching every other reality show on television.
“When your favorite contestant gets kicked off, you want to run up and kick your TV because there’s nothing you can do. This is the first show that actually invites you to do something about it. You need to protect your [favorite] players from getting kicked off in the first place, then you have the opportunity at the end of each episode to put one of the players back into the house.”
While the phrase “glass house” suggests transparency figuratively, knowing what’s going on with people when they’re behind their own walls, it’s also literal in the case of the ABC show. The house genuinely incorporates a lot of glass, and Rosen notes, “Technologically, it’s not that difficult. The challenge is the time frame in which we have to get the house set up.
“There will be some blinds that can be pulled, so [the contestants] have some privacy … but at the same time, we’re inviting viewers to judge these people. No show has ever done that before. We’re saying [to the players], ‘It’s now time to put who you are on the line, and to see if America likes you as much as you like yourself.’ “