CBS confirmed in early August that "Big Brother" will be airing a fall edition in 2016 that will air exclusively on CBS All Access.
Now, after speaking with the show's executive producers and two CBS executives, Zap2it has some info for the "Big Brother" fans wondering just what this new season will look like.
Julie Chen's involvement
Chen already tweeted that she would be involved in "Big Brother" on All Access, though CBS Interactive president Marc DeBevoise tells us Chen's role will be a little different than TV viewers are used to.
"The show's a little different, so the role isn't exactly the same," says DeBevoise. "But she will have her lead role in the show ... she's going to be the main person."
Will there be past houseguests involved in some way?
DeBevoise says they've considered having past houseguests involved the way that former contestant Jeff Schroeder currently does interviews for the live feeds, while executive producer Rich Meehan says that they haven't decided if they will have past players actually inside the house as contestants.
"We're in the thick of re-imagining [the show], so we haven't gotten to the point of 'should we bring back people yet?'" says Meehan, as his co-executive producer Allison Grodner adds, "It could happen, you never know ... [but] there's some legends that maybe you save for summer 'Big Brother' in the future, seeing as we just got picked up for two more [seasons]."
What does 're-imagining' mean?
"They're working on what the format is going to be, so it's not going to be exactly how summer is, it's going to be the digital edition," says CBS president Glenn Gellar.
When pressed for details, Grodner says, "It's interesting because it's going to be such a different -- it's still 'Big Brother' but it's live -- the competitions won't be as big and all of that that we do because that's just the way it's going to play out. Competitions can possibly play out longer, people will be able to see everything, it won't be blocked."
Will there be packaged episodes?
"We're working on trying to come up with something so the All Access people that watch the feeds, they can do what they love, but if you're a broadcast watcher, there will be things for you to watch as well, so we're still trying to crack what that is, but we want to be able to appeal to the full audience," says Meehan. "We want to create times and schedules so if people just want to pop on for a key event, they can do that."
"You have to have some catch up [for people who don't watch the feeds]," Grodner explains. "[But] the feeds are now primary. It's a whole new way of looking at it. We're really looking forward to it 'cause it really isn't being done anywhere. It's a bold experiment by CBS and it's the perfect show to do it with."
The feeds will be spiced up
"I think that with a lot of the feeds now, there's a lot of long blocks [when they're down] for our competitions, you see a lot of people asleep -- there will be a reason for people to be awake, how about that?" teases Grodner.
DeBevoise adds that the show will be "without the restrictions of broadcast television to make it a little bit more interesting."