Grande Fratello, the Italian version of reality television franchise Big Brother, began in September 2000, and has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon in Italy. There have been twelve completed seasons as of 2013.
Based on the Original Dutch Version created by Endemol, the show sees a number of different Housemates, divided by gender, social backgrounds and geographical locations locked up together in a House, where the viewing Public can watch them twenty-four hours a day, and vote them out of the House as they choose to.
The Housemates can visit the "Confessional" at any time during the day, either to talk to psychologists if they need to, talk to Big Brother, or to Nominate.
The title is inspired by the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The novel tells of a Big Brother, head of the totalitarian state of Oceania that constantly monitors its inhabitants via camera in an attempt to suppress their free will. The tag line of the novel is "Big Brother is watching you", which inspired the show, as it is Big Brother who now has total control over the situation in the House.
The Housemates live in a House 24 hours a day, bugged by numerous cameras and microphones which capture their every move. Every week the Housemates participate in tasks that determine their food budget for that Week, or could even affect that week's Nominations. The overall goal is to survive to be the final surviving Housemate, and claim the prize fund.
|Series||Launch Date||Finale Date||Days||Housemates||Winner||Main Presenter||Grand Prize||Liveshow
|Grande Fratello 1||14 September 2000||21 December 2000||99||10||Cristina Plevani||Daria Bignardi||£250,000,000
|Grande Fratello 2||20 September 2001||20 December 2001||92||16||Flavio Montrucchio||Daria Bignardi||£250,000,000
|Grande Fratello 3||30 January 2003||8 May 2003||99||16||Floriana Secondi||Barbara D'Urso||€241,000
(reduced from €300,000)
|Grande Fratello 4||22 January 2004||6 May 2004||106||15||Serena Garitta||Barbara D'Urso||€300,000||8.44|
|Grande Fratello 5||23 September 2004||2 December 2004||71||17||Jonathan Kashanian||Barbara D'Urso||€250,000||6.86|
|Grande Fratello 6||19 January 2006||27 April 2006||99||18||Augusto De Megni||Alessia Marcuzzi||€900,000
(reduced from €1,000,000)
|Grande Fratello 7||18 January 2007||19 April 2007||92||19||Milo Coretti||Alessia Marcuzzi||€500,000||5.57|
|Grande Fratello 8||21 January 2008||21 April 2008||92||21||Mario Ferretti||Alessia Marcuzzi||€500,000||5.46|
|Grande Fratello 9||12 January 2009||20 April 2009||99||23||Ferdi Berisa||Alessia Marcuzzi||€300,000||6.63|
|Grande Fratello 10||26 October 2009||8 March 2010||134||26||Mauro Marin||Alessia Marcuzzi||€250,000||6.16|
|Grande Fratello 11||18 October 2010||18 April 2011||183||35||Andrea Cocco||Alessia Marcuzzi||€300,000
(extended from €250,000)
|Grande Fratello 12||24 October 2011||1 April 2012||161||36||Sabrina Mbarek||Alessia Marcuzzi||€240,000
(reduced from €250,000)
|Grande Fratello 13||starts in January 2014|
Season One, won by Cristina Plevani from Iseo, Italy
Season Two, won by Flavio Montrucchio from Torino, Italy
Season Three, won by Floriana Secondi from Rome, Italy
Season Four, won by Serena Garitta from Genova, Italy
Season Five, won by Jonathan Kashanian from Ramat-Gan, Israel, (of Iranian parents)
Season Six, won by Augusto De Megni from Foligno, Italy
Season Seven, won by Milo Coretti from Rome, Italy
Season Eight - won by Mario Ferretti from Montecchio, Italy
Season Nine - won by Ferdi Berisa from Podgorica, Montenegro
Season Ten - won by Mauro Marin from Treviso, Italy
Season Eleven - won by Andrea Cocco from Hong Kong, China.
Season Twelve - won by Sabrina Mbarek from Udine, Italy.
The program has broken several records, including exceeding a 50% share of the ratings (with peaks of 60% during Season One). The fifth season recorded a decline in ratings; which has been put down to both the competition from rival reality television shows and the season's poor and hasty production. On the contrary, by the ninth edition, the show has recorded increasing ratings which took the program back to its original popularity.
In Italy Big Brother is a cultural phenomenon that has grasped the attention of both audience and press. The show is seen as a sociological experiment, an icon and symbol of the modern world, and derives its success from these factors.
Despite viewing figures declain over the years (especially in twelfth series) is Grande Fratello still one of most successful reality shows worldwide.