“Big Brother” has been a staple of CBS’ summer programming since 2000, airing just one season outside of summer, when Season 9 aired from February to April during the 2008 writers’ strike.
But now Reality Blurred reports that CBS is casting for a fall season, which will air exclusively on CBS All Access, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The knee-jerk reaction to this might be one of dread for longtime fans, because Season 9 was … kind of a disaster.
But this might actually be a great move for CBS and here’s why.
1. All Access is the perfect platform
This is the perfect compromise for CBS. They can continue to feed the live-feed watchers — who use All Access to watch the live feeds — without carving out three hours a week to air “Big Brother” episodes during primetime space.
Will as many people watch the episodes on All Access as the regular primetime summer episodes? Highly unlikely. But the live-feed watchers are a fervant and loyal group, so there’s nothing to lose there. Those viewers will always tune in and if CBS All Access gets some more linear viewers to tune in because of “Big Brother,” all the better.
2. It’s a better time of year
Part of Season 9’s problem was that it mostly aired in the winter. Even in Los Angeles, February and March are not traditionally warm months. The average temperature is mid-50s. Why does that matter, you may ask? Well, as Season 9 viewers know, there just weren’t as many fun shenanigans that season because the houseguests stayed inside all the time. It really did make the show kind of boring.
This 19th season of “Big Brother” will premiere shortly after the 18th season wraps in September and it will air for 10 weeks. That puts the majority of the show airing in late September, October and November. While that may mean the end of the season will be getting a little chilly, the earlier weeks, when most of the crazy stuff tends to go down, will be happening at a better time of year.
3. It doesn’t hurt to try
Maybe this will be an unmitigated disaster, but maybe it will be wildly successful. Part of what makes “Big Brother” work or not work is the casting. Fans cannot deny that some seasons are just better than others for that exact reason. So if CBS can find a crackerjack group of houseguests, a move to CBS All Access could be just another step in making that a premiere streaming service.
At least CBS is trying — between “Big Brother,” the “Star Trek: Discovery” drama and the “Good Wife” spinoff starring Christine Baranski, CBS is leaning heavily into All Access and that’s great. Certainly the “Big Brother” fans will be excited for more of their favorite reality TV series.