Big Brother (American TV series)

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Big Brother
Big Brother (U.S. TV Series) Logo.png
Logo used from 2001-2013
Also known asBig Brother USA[1]
GenreReality competition
Based onBig Brother
by John de Mol Jr.
Presented by
StarringBig Brother houseguests
Voices of
  • Multiple producers
  • Don Wollman[2]
Narrated by
Theme music composer
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons22
No. of episodes768 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Don Wollman (2000-)
Production location(s)Studio City, California
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time
  • 20–23 minutes (2000)[a]
  • 40-120 minutes (2000–)[b]
Production company(s)
Release
Original networkCBS
Picture format
Original releaseJuly 5, 2000 (2000-07-05) –
present
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Website
Production website

Big Brother is a television reality game show based on the Dutch TV series of the same name created by producer John de Mol and Ron Diesel [4] in 1997.[5] The series takes its name from the character in George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The series launched on July 5, 2000 on CBS and is currently the second longest-running adaptation in the Big Brother franchise to date after the Spanish version.

The show broadly follows the premise of other versions of the format, in which a group of contestants, known as "HouseGuests" live together in a specially constructed house that is isolated from the outside world. The HouseGuests are continuously monitored during their stay in the house by live television cameras as well as personal audio microphones. Throughout the course of the competition, HouseGuests are evicted from the house, by being voted out of the competition. The last remaining HouseGuest wins the competition and is awarded a cash prize of $500,000. In its inaugural season (which followed the original Dutch format), ratings declined and critical reaction grew increasingly negative prompting the series to be revamped for the second season, which focused on competition and gameplay.[6]

On May 15, 2019, it was announced that the series had been renewed through its 22nd season.[7][8] CBS later announced on May 20, 2019 that the 21st season would premiere on June 25, 2019.[9] On July 23, 2020, after production delays due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced that the 22nd season would be an "All-Stars" edition (consisting of only previous houseguests), premiering on August 5, 2020. The "All-Stars" format was originally used in season 7.[10]

In addition to the main series, there have been two spin-offs: Big Brother: Over the Top, which aired for one season and was the first reality game show to air exclusively on a streaming platform airing in Fall 2016 on CBS' streaming service, CBS All Access; and Celebrity Big Brother, which aired on CBS in February 2018.[11][12][13]

History[edit]

Series[edit]

A view of CBS Studio Center sound stage 18, where the house is located

The series was bought by CBS in early 2000 for an estimated $20 million.[14] The American version of the series officially premiered on July 5, 2000, when the original ten housemates entered the house.[15] Since its inception, the show has been hosted by television personality Julie Chen Moonves.[note 1] It is produced by Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan for Fly on the Wall Entertainment and Endemol Shine North America (formerly Endemol USA).[16] The success of the series has spawned several spin-offs. The series airs once a year, during the summer, with the exception of the ninth season which aired in the spring of 2008 and the Over the Top spinoff series broadcasting in fall 2016. Currently, 22 seasons of the show have aired, along with one digital season.[17] Season 22 premiered on August 5, 2020.[10] The show has aired a total of 746 episodes since it premiered, with the September 5, 2013 airing marking the 500th episode.[18] To date, there have been a total of 272 HouseGuests compete in the series. Upon entering the house, the HouseGuests must abide the rules set in the house; HouseGuests can anytime leave the house without permission, or be forcibly removed from the game if they broke any rules, such as exhibiting violent and disruptive behavior. In both cases, these HouseGuests are not allowed to return to the house and usually incorporated with a penalty such as not allowed to be involved in a jury. To date, three HouseGuests withdrew from the competition and four HouseGuests were expelled from the House because of a rule violation.

Companion shows[edit]

Since its premiere, there have been numerous companion programs about the show. In 2004, the web series House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show (2004-2008) began airing.[19] The series, which lasted for thirty minutes and aired on weeknights, allowed fans to call in and discuss the events of the game.[20] This made House Calls the first live Internet talk show produced exclusively for a television network.[21] The series was initially hosted by Gretchen Massey and Big Brother 3 HouseGuest Marcellas Reynolds during its first two seasons.[22] Beginning with the show's third season, a new co-host was featured on the series each day, with some returning more than once.[23] During the show's fifth and sixth seasons, each co-host was given a designated day of the week to host alongside Gretchen.[24] Following the show's sixth season, it was confirmed that it would not be renewed.[25] Big Brother: After Dark, a second companion series, was debuted in 2007 and aired on Showtime Too nightly from 12:00 midnight-3:00am Eastern Time.[26] The series continued this schedule until 2013, at which point it was moved to TVGN (now Pop), where it remains today.[27][28] Former HouseGuest Jeff Schroeder began hosting the Big Brother: Live Chat online discussion show in 2012, where he interviewed the HouseGuests both before they enter the house and following their evictions. He also performed post-finale backyard interviews with the cast.[29] On August 10, 2017, Schroeder announced that he was moving to Colorado and would no longer be able to do the interviews.[30] For Big Brother 20, the "Live Chat" was replaced by Off the Block with Ross and Marissa. Hosted by former Celebrity HouseGuests Marissa Jaret Winokur and Ross Mathews, the show is set to air on Fridays on Facebook following the live eviction.[31]

Spin-offs[edit]

There have been two spin-off editions of Big Brother. In October 2016, CBS premiered a spin-off web series, Big Brother: Over the Top, as an original series for CBS All Access. Unlike the flagship, television version, it was broadcast exclusively online with a shorter, 10-week season.[32][33] The second spin-off, Celebrity Big Brother, aired its first season on CBS on February 7, 2018.[13] Celebrity Big Brother was renewed for a second season, which premiered on January 21, 2019 and concluded on February 13. However, on January 1, 2020, CBS announced there will be no Celebrity Big Brother this year.[34]

Though not an actual spin-off, the Canadian edition of the series is the first and, currently, only series to adopt the full American format of Big Brother.[35] However, other franchises have used elements of the American format, including the 2020 revival of the Big Brother Australia, which uses an altered version of the American format with the Australian public still deciding the eventual winner. Other franchises such as Big Brother Brasil soon adopted individual elements from the American format (Veto Competition, Have/Have-Nots, and Head of Household) into their format while still maintaining the international public vote format for weekly evictions.

Format[edit]

Big Brother is a game show in which a group of contestants, referred to as HouseGuests, live in a custom-built "house" (actually a set built on a CBS stage in Los Angeles, Stage 18 since season 6), constantly under video surveillance.[36] While in the house, the contestants are completely isolated from the outside world, meaning no phone, television, Internet, magazines, newspapers or contact with those not in the house.[37] This rule could be broken, however, in the event of a medical injury, a family emergency or death.[38] The format of the series is mainly seen as a social experiment, and requires HouseGuests to interact with others who may have differing ideals, beliefs, and prejudices.[39][40] While a competition, the series allows viewers to witness the relationships formed in the house and the behavior of the HouseGuests.[41] Though locked in the house, the HouseGuests are free to quit the game, though they will not be allowed entry back into the house.[42] Should a HouseGuest break the rules of the game, they could be expelled from the house and unable to return.[43][44] The contestants compete for a grand prize of $500,000.[45][46]

Season 1 Format[edit]

The premiere season, the format of the show resembled the original Dutch version of the show-- a format adapted by most versions. As the format of the show emphasized the social experiment aspects of the premise, the competitive aspects were minimized: HouseGuests did not compete for power or safety, and the nominations process was not discussed by the HouseGuests.[47]

Every two weeks, each HouseGuest participated in a mandatory voting called Nomination which decide a list of HouseGuests nominated for eviction, also known as "Marked for banishment". Each HouseGuest secretly nominated two other fellow housemates, providing full reasons for their nominations.[48] In the event of a tie, the two or more HouseGuests with the most nominations became marked for banishment and faced the public vote for the following week.[49] Towards the end of the season, the nominations process reverted to a weekly process.

After the nominations were finalized, a public voting window opens for America who vote for which HouseGuest would be banished through televoting.[50]. This process continued until three HouseGuests remained, where the final vote was changed to determine the winner of the show. The winner won the $500,000 prize, the runner-up left with $100,000 and 3rd place left with $50,000.[49] The competition however, received negative reception from both critics and viewers.[51]

Season 2-present[edit]

Big Brother 14 winner Ian Terry, with the Diamond Power of Veto

Having spent millions on the series, CBS issued a second season of the series and announced that various changes would occur with the format[6] The current format of the series is focused more on competition and strategy than the original series, which makes a resemblance to the format from another CBS show, Survivor.

At the start of each week in the house, the HouseGuests compete for three types of competitions, Head of Household, Have-Not, and the Power of Veto. For the Head of Household,[52] HouseGuest compete for immunity from eviction and the power to nominate two HouseGuest for the eviction, and often receive privileges such as their own personal bedroom and free laundry service; however, the incumbent Head of Household would not be able to compete in the following week's Head of Household competition, meaning that a HouseGuest could not hold the title for a second consecutive week, except for the final week or other stated circumstances.[53][54][55] For the Power of Veto (introduced in Season 3), any HouseGuests compete for the right to replace any nominated HouseGuest from the eviction, which would continue until three HouseGuest remains. Introduced in Season 7 is Have-Not competitions, where losing HouseGuests were penalized with a "Have-Not" diet by eating slop and sleep in a special bedroom for the remainder of the week.[56]

At the end of the week, all HouseGuests except for three (the Head of Household and the two nominees) would then cast a vote, one-by-one, to determine which of the two nominees should be evicted; the HouseGuest receiving a majority of the eligible HouseGuest's votes is evicted during a live episode; if there is a tie in the voting, the reigning Head of Household is required to publicly make the tie-breaker decision.[57] Unlike other versions of Big Brother, the HouseGuests may discuss the nomination and eviction process openly and freely. Since season 5, at least one week featured a double eviction (called "Fast Forward" week until season 7) and the HoH and Veto competitions were held during the remainder of the live show or within a time frame to evict a second HouseGuest; and since season 22, a "triple eviction" was also introduced where a third HouseGuest is evicted on another given time frame after the second eviction, following a format similar to the Canadian counterpart. This process continues until only four HouseGuests remain, in the case the sole HouseGuest eligible would instead cast their sole vote to evict one HouseGuest nominated.

Upon reaching a point in the game, the evicted HouseGuests would go on to become members of the Jury; the Jury is responsible for choosing who wins the series. The members of the Jury are not shown any Diary Room interviews or any footage that may include strategy or details regarding nominations. In seasons 2 and 3, all HouseGuests who were evicted except those who either walked or removed from the game are not eligible, but due to a possibility of a tie and an American public vote is decisive, the jury is only eligible for only the seven recently evicted HouseGuests beginning season 4 (known as Jury of Seven), before increasing to nine members (Jury of Nine) starting season 15.[58] Once only two HouseGuests remain, the members of the Jury would cast the votes to decide the winner by placing their keys with the name to the slots (versus stating their choice to eliminate, as in all other votes). The winning HouseGuest wins a $500,000 cash prize and the runner-up with $50,000.[59] Members who either walked or removed but was part of the Jury remained as a member but is not allowed to vote, instead the vote is decided by the public, as it was first seen in season 11 where Chima Simone was removed from the game while she was still part of the jury and host Chen Moonves represented her vote in her behalf; the America voted eventual winner Jordan Lloyd to win, which it does in a 5-2 vote.[60]

Jessie Godderz holds the record for most appearances on Big Brother with two appearances as a HouseGuest and nine appearances as a special guest.

To keep the series intriguing, each season typically features a new twist to change the format of the game. This began with Season 3 and the famous "Expect the Unexpected" twist.[61] Other seasons feature smaller twists that have a smaller impact on the game, usually affecting that sole week. The most notable example of this is Pandora's Box, a twist that originated in Season 11.[62] The twist sees the current Head of Household for that week being tempted by the box, and can choose to either open the box or leave it. Should a HouseGuest choose to open Pandora's Box, both good and bad consequences could be unleashed into the house; these can affect not only the Head of Household, but the other housemates, possibly including the HouseGuest who opens it.[63][64] Similar formats are applied in later seasons, for example, the Den of Temptation introduced in season 19. Secret powers have also appeared in the past. Mike Malin was the first HouseGuest to receive a secret power, earning the Coup d'État during Big Brother: All-Stars (2006).[65] The Coup d'État allowed the holder to remove one or both nominees from the block on eviction night, as well as choose who is nominated in their place.[66] Malin chose not to use the power and it subsequently returned during Big Brother 11 (2009) when Schroeder was given the power by the viewers.[67] Matt Hoffman was given a Diamond Power of Veto during Big Brother 12 (2010), which allowed him to remove one HouseGuest from the block and choose the replacement nominee.[68] During Season 14, HouseGuest and eventual winner Ian Terry won a second Power of Veto, which have the same functionality as a regular Power of Veto.[69]

Many seasons have featured twists in which evicted HouseGuests can win reentry into the house, either by public vote or competition. Normally, this involves sequestering each eliminated contestant individually or in the jury house (depending on whether the twist occurred pre-jury or post-jury, respectively). Contestants who 'self-evict' (quit the game voluntarily) or was 'forcibly removed' (expelled from the game due to a rule violation) are ineligible to return in these twists. Examples of the twists employed in various seasons are listed below.

  • In season 3, the first four evictees were asked what they would give up to re-enter the house and the two that listed the most faced a house vote.
  • In season 6, the first four evictees faced a public vote.
  • In season 9, the first six evictees faced a public vote, before facing a house vote on whether to bring back the most recent evictee or the "mystery HouseGuest" chosen by America.
  • In season 13, the first four evictees faced a public vote before the winner competed against the most recent, evictee for reentry.
  • Each Season from 15 to 18 in addition to season 20, the first few jurors competed in a competition to re-enter. In seasons 15, 17 and 18, said competition coincided with that week's Head of Household competition.
  • In seasons 18 and 19 the first five evictees competed in a series of knockout competitions until the last competition where the winning HouseGuest won reentry.
  • In season 20, one of the Power Apps granted a contestant a chance at reentry upon eviction.
  • In season 21, a twist allowed four HouseGuests to be banished and compete in a challenge to allow reentry in a game; later, the banished HouseGuest and the first three evictees would be sequestered in a "Camp Comeback" after the first eviction and would compete in a challenge at the end of the third week where the winning HouseGuest won reentry.

Jessie Godderz has made the most Big Brother appearances in the show's history by far, appearing in Seasons 10 and 11 as a Houseguest and then again in Seasons 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19 and 20 and also on Celebrity Big Brother Season 1, in surprise return Special Guest Appearances. He also appeared in a special Big Brother Press Day edition of the series exclusively for CBS.com during Season 16. Victor Arroyo is the first HouseGuest to be evicted three times in the same season, having won two separate Battle Back competitions to gain reentry into the house, only to be permanently evicted on Day 90, taking fifth place. Cliff Hogg III became the second HouseGuest to be eliminated from the game three times. He was first banished and won re-entry, then he was evicted and won the Camp Comeback competition to gain reentry into the house, only to be permanently evicted on Day 93, taking fourth place. Dan Gheesling and Paul Abrahamian are the only players that have lasted until the Final 2 in two separate seasons and faced a final jury vote; the former became the first HouseGuest to win with an unanimous Jury vote of 7-0 during the first season appearance (the other HouseGuest was Tamar Braxton on the second Celebrity season); the latter however, become the first HouseGuest to neither win a season during his two appearances after losing to Nicole Franzel and Josh Martinez, both in a 5-4 jury vote.

America's Favorite HouseGuest[edit]

Introduced in the first All-stars season in season 7 and has done so in all season finale except season 8 and Over-The-Top, viewers of Big Brother would cast a vote to decide the fan favorite HouseGuest this season for a cash award of $25,000. The results are announced following the finale of the respective season.

During the season's debut, the award is only eligible to the Jury of Seven (hence the award was called America's Favorite Juror or America's Choice Jury Prize), before expanding the eligibility to all HouseGuests (including the winner) beginning Season 11. HouseGuests who either walked or expelled from the season are ineligible. The voting percentages were also revealed live but it has been dropped since Season 17.[70]

Broadcast[edit]

Julie Chen, seen here with Les Moonves, has hosted the series since its premiere.

Since its launch in the United States, Big Brother has aired on CBS.[71] The show is simulcast in Canada on Global.[72] The fourth and ninth seasons have both aired in the United Kingdom, the latter airing in the Spring season.[73] The first season featured a total of six episodes per week, though all future installments would air three nights per week.[74] Of these three episodes, the weekly eviction episode is the only one that is live; this is the only episode to feature host Julie Chen. This show generally airs on Thursdays.[75] To date, there have been a total of 746 episodes of the series to air.[76] With the exception of the ninth season, the series typically airs once a year during the summer season.[77][78] The first 15 seasons aired in standard definition, with the 16th season being the first to be produced in HD. However, the live internet feeds would not broadcast in HD until Big Brother 17.[79][80] Before the series made the transfer, it was the last remaining regularly scheduled prime-time series to remain in standard definition.[81][82] CBS released the entire third season as a nine-disc set on Region 1 DVD.[83] This made it the first season to receive an official release, and has since become a rare item to find.[84] The fourth season saw the release of a two-disc highlights DVD, featuring previously unseen footage deemed too racy for the main broadcast.[85] To date, these are the only seasons to see a physical release. Beginning with the seventh season, all future seasons are available for purchase on digital retail sites.[86] With the 15th season, TVGN (now Pop) began airing re-runs of the series at later dates, making it the first season to be aired following its premiere; this continued with the 16th season.[87] Subscribers to CBS All Access are able to stream the complete run of Big Brother-- including the differently-formatted first season-- and an episode of Big Brother 2 that did not air in most markets due to ongoing coverage of the September 11 attacks. CBS aired the spin-off series Celebrity Big Brother from February 7–25, 2018. It was the first spin-off to air on the broadcast network and the second season overall to air in the winter television season (the other being season 9). The celebrity edition aired in a concentrated run with fewer episodes, but with multiple episodes each week.[11]

Live Internet feeds[edit]

One of the main aspects of the series is the live feeds, in which viewers can view inside the house at any time.[88] The live feeds have been a part of the series since its inception, initially being offered as a free service during the first season.[89] From the second season onward, a subscription to the live feeds has been required, with the price ranging each year.[90] The first season's feeds were available on the show's official site, hosted by AOL.[91] From the second season to the 14th season, the feeds were available through RealNetworks either as a subscription or as a free addition for Gold members.[92] With the 15th season onward, the live feeds have aired on the official CBS website, again requiring a subscription from users.[93] Though advertised as being available at any time, the feeds are shut off during the weekly nomination ceremony, Power of Veto ceremony, and the competitions and evictions for that week; this is to provide suspense for the series.[94] Slanderous statements and singing of copyrighted music are also blocked for legal reasons.[95][96][97]

Competitions[edit]

Head of Household (HOH)[edit]

The Head of Household competition is held at the beginning of each week and is most often occurred during the live eviction episode.[98] Most often, the first Head of Household competition will require HouseGuests to participate either in pairs or in teams.[99] While the fourth, fifth and eighth seasons had the HouseGuests competing in pairs,[100] seasons 6, 7, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16 all saw HouseGuests participated as group.[101][102] The live Head of Household competitions are typically question-based, and will see HouseGuests eliminated in each round.[103] Competitions such as "Majority Rules" have been used numerous times, with the game being played in the fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth, 10th and 12th seasons;[104][105] a variation of the competition was used in the seventh season.[106] Some competitions will attempt to cause drama in the house, such as the "En Garde" Head of Household competition, in which the winner of each round selected the next two to face off against one another.[107] This competition was later used in the 10th through 16th seasons.[108][109] Various competitions throughout the season will be endurance, requiring HouseGuests to be the last one remaining in the competition.[110] Endurance competitions are often held after game changing announcements, such as when a previously evicted HouseGuest returns.[111] Various endurance competitions may have punished or rewarded contestants who either fall off first or last.[112] Skill-based competitions also appear frequently throughout the season, some of which may last for numerous hours.[113] Skill competitions, such as the 13th season's "Big Brother Open", are finished during the live eviction broadcast.[114] The final Head of Household competition of each season features three rounds; the first is endurance-based, the second is skill-based (often with a memory component), and the final is question-based.[115] The record for most Head of Household competitions won in a single season is four (4), which were held by Drew Daniel, Janelle Pierzina, Hayden Moss, Rachel Reilly, Ian Terry, Aaryn Gries, Caleb Reynolds, Vanessa Rousso, Steve Moses and Jackson Michie in terms of reigns. Frankie Grande won HOH five times in the 16th season; however, he was dethroned twice due to the dual HoH twist that was in play during his season and his third reign was rewound due to the rewind button twist, leaving him with just two full reigns as HoH. Ian Terry and Jackson Michie share the record for most consecutive Head of Household wins, with four (both winning at the Final 9, 7, 5 and 3 rounds).[116] One of the Head of Household's duties is to nominate two HouseGuests for eviction, or in the case of Final three, to evict. Victoria Rafaeli from the 16th season holds the record for most times being nominated with ten.

Power of Veto (PoV)[edit]

The Power of Veto symbol, used since its creation

The Power of Veto is a power first introduced in Big Brother 3.[117] During its first season, it did not allow a nominated HouseGuest to use it on themselves.[118] The final Power of Veto that season was the Golden Power of Veto and allowed a nominated HouseGuest to remove themselves from the block.[119] Following this, the Golden Power of Veto was used in all subsequent seasons.[120][121] The Diamond Power of Veto, used in Big Brother 12, allowed one HouseGuest to remove themselves from the block.[122] as well as choose the replacement nominee only moments before the live eviction.[123] Power of Veto competitions differ drastically from the Head of Household competition, with PoV competitions being more skill-based in nature.[124] Competitions such as the "Pop Goes the Veto!" competition, which required HouseGuests to find letter tiles and spell the longest word, have been used in numerous consecutive seasons.[125][126] Competitions such as the "Big Brother Boardwalk" competition see HouseGuests attempting to guess how much of an item there is; this is one of various competitions that do not require HouseGuests to compete in a physical-based competition.[127][128] The "How Bad Do You Want It?" Power of Veto competition, first introduced in the seventh season, saw HouseGuests taking punishments in exchange for advancing in the competition.[129] Variations of this competition have been used in numerous subsequent seasons.[130] HouseGuests Janelle Pierzina (S7), Daniele Donato (S8), Paul Abrahamian (S19), and Kaycee Clark (S20) currently hold the record for most Power of Veto wins in a single season, with five wins each.[131] HouseGuests James Zinkand, Frank Eudy, Shane Meaney and Kaycee Clark all hold the record for most consecutive Power of Veto wins, with three each.

Food and luxury[edit]

Food and luxury competitions have been a part of the series since it first premiered. In early seasons, the losers of the food competition would be placed on a peanut butter and jelly diet and would not be permitted to eat any other foods.[132]

Beginning with Season 7, the losers of the Have-Not competition were required to eat "Big Brother Slop" for food, sleep in the Have-Not bedroom and take cold showers for the week.[133][134][135][136] Slop has proven to be an issue for some HouseGuests; in both cases on Season 9, hypoglycemic HouseGuest Amanda Hansen fainted and had a seizure after only a few days of being on the slop diet,[133] while HouseGuest Allison Nichols had an allergic reaction to the slop;[137][138] both women were medically evacuated from the house, though they returned the following morning.[139]

The second All-stars season also have "Have-Not" competition but subsequent weeks forego competitions and instead decided by the previous recipients of Have-Nots, except for only a few weeks which reset the process. In the first week of Have-Not competition that followed, losers picked envelopes by random; four envelopes held a "Have-Not" card, meaning that four HouseGuests were "Have-Nots" for the week and could decide the next HouseGuest to receive "Have-Not" for the subsequent week, but the HouseGuest could not select the reigning HoH nor current Have-Nots. The first reset occurred on Week 5 and a Have-Not competition were held on the week after, in which three HouseGuests were subjected to Have-Nots. The number of Have-Nots were also reduced by one every three evictions.

HouseGuests can be penalized for not following Have-Not rules, which is usually incorporated with a penalty vote for eviction; three HouseGuests had, to date, been penalized for the infraction and in all cases, they were ultimately evicted on the following week's eviction: HouseGuest Jen Johnson from season 8 was the first HouseGuest to do so,[140][141] followed by Audrey Middleton (S17) and Matt Clines (S19). Season 11 HouseGuests Jeff Schroeder and Kevin Campbell also had broke the rule, however by a lesser degree, they instead penalized for an extra day on the slop diet instead.[142] Season 21 winner Jackson Michie also have broke the rule but was not issued a penalty due to the obstruction of the camera view behind the shower walls while eating non-slop,[143][144][145] resulting in the Have-Not being unseen for the remainder of that season.[146]

The HouseGuests also frequently compete in luxury competitions during their time in the house, with most frequently, the right to watch a film or television show in the house.[147] When competitions for films or television shows occur, an actor or actress from the series may enter the house to host the competition or speak with the HouseGuests. Actors such as Jeremy Piven,[148] David Hasselhoff[149] and Neil Patrick Harris have all entered the house to participate in luxury competitions or rewards.[150]

Battle of the Block[edit]

The Battle of the Block was first introduced during season 16 and was reintroduced during the following season's premiere; Instead of the normal singular Head of Household (HOH), two HOHs were named for that week. Each would then nominate a pair of nominees. These two pairs of nominees would compete against each other in a competition. The winning pair would receive immunity and if nominated, the and incumbent HOH that nominated them would be dethroned and losing immunity, allowing the other HOH sole power for the rest of the week. There were eight Battle of the Block competitions in season 16 and five in season 17.

Battle Back[edit]

The Battle Back Competition allows an evicted house guest to return into the house and play as if they had never left. While elements of this competition first appeared in Seasons 15, 16 and 17, it was officially introduced in Season 18 and returned to play a role in Seasons 19, 20 and 21 as well.

  • In Seasons 15 and 17, the first four jurors competed in the HOH competition alongside the remaining houseguests. The winner of the competing jury members would be put back in the house and had the possibility to win HOH in the same competition. The winners of these competitions were Judd Daugherty and John McGuire, who finished in fifth and fourth place, respectively, in their respective seasons.
  • In Season 16, the first four jury members competed only against each other to make their way back into the house. The winner was Nicole Franzel, who beat Hayden Voss, Zach Rance and Jocasta Odom.
  • During Season 18, the first two evicted houseguests battled one on one, and the winner went on to compete against the third. The winner of that matchup would face the next evicted HouseGuest, and the winner of the final match-up re-entered the game. Victor Arroyo was the winner. Also in that season, Jury members competed alongside the HouseGuests still in the game. The last HouseGuest standing became the new HoH, while the last Jury member standing returned to the game. Victor won this Battle Back, making him the first HouseGuest in Big Brother history to re-enter the game in the same season for a third time. This version of the Battle Back did not return for season 19.
  • During Season 19, the first four evicted HouseGuests played against each other in one competition. The top two then played head-to-head and the winner then had to face off against a member inside the house. If the evicted HouseGuest won, they would re-enter the game. However, if the non-evicted HouseGuest won, no one would re-enter the game and all four evicted HouseGuests would be permanently eliminated. Cody Nickson beat Paul Abrahamian in the final round and re-entered the game.
  • During Season 20, the first four evicted Jury members played against each other in one competition. Scottie Salton beat out his competitors Bayleigh Dayton, Angie "Rockstar" Lantry and Faysal Shafaat and re-entered the game.
  • During Season 21, the first four evicted HouseGuests became members of Camp Comeback and did not exit the house following their evictions. After four HouseGuests were evicted, they competed in the Comeback Competition to re-enter the game. Cliff Hogg III beat out his competitors David Alexander, Ovi Kabir and Kemi Fakunle and re-entered the game.

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedDaysHouseGuestsWinnerRunner–upAmerica's Favorite
Juror/Player
Final voteAverage viewers
(millions)
First airedLast airedNetwork
170July 5, 2000 (2000-07-05)September 29, 2000 (2000-09-29)CBS8810Eddie McGeeJosh SouzaN/A59–27–14%[c]9.01
230July 5, 2001 (2001-07-05)September 20, 2001 (2001-09-20)8212Will KirbyNicole SchaffrichN/A5–27.90
333July 10, 2002 (2002-07-10)September 25, 2002 (2002-09-25)8212Lisa DonahueDanielle ReyesN/A9–18.70
433July 8, 2003 (2003-07-08)September 24, 2003 (2003-09-24)8213Jun SongAlison IrwinN/A6–18.80
531July 6, 2004 (2004-07-06)September 21, 2004 (2004-09-21)8214Drew DanielMichael EllisN/A4–38.30
630July 7, 2005 (2005-07-07)September 20, 2005 (2005-09-20)8014Maggie AusburnIvette CorrederoN/A4–37.24
7[d]28July 6, 2006 (2006-07-06)September 12, 2006 (2006-09-12)7214Mike MalinErika LandinJanelle Pierzina6–17.56
833July 5, 2007 (2007-07-05)September 18, 2007 (2007-09-18)8114Dick DonatoDaniele DonatoEric Stein5–27.52
9[e]33February 12, 2008 (2008-02-12)April 27, 2008 (2008-04-27)8116Adam JasinskiRyan QuicksallJames Zinkand6–16.56
1029July 13, 2008 (2008-07-13)September 16, 2008 (2008-09-16)7113Dan GheeslingMemphis GarrettKeesha Smith7–06.72
1130July 9, 2009 (2009-07-09)September 15, 2009 (2009-09-15)7313Jordan LloydNatalie MartinezJeff Schroeder5–27.19
1230July 5, 2010 (2010-07-05)September 15, 2010 (2010-09-15)7513Hayden MossLane ElenburgBritney Haynes4–37.76
1329July 7, 2011 (2011-07-07)September 14, 2011 (2011-09-14)7514Rachel ReillyPorsche BriggsJeff Schroeder4–37.95
1430July 12, 2012 (2012-07-12)September 19, 2012 (2012-09-19)7516Ian TerryDan GheeslingFrank Eudy6–16.79
1536June 26, 2013 (2013-06-26)September 18, 2013 (2013-09-18)9016Andy HerrenGinaMarie ZimmermanElissa Slater7–26.47
1640June 25, 2014 (2014-06-25)September 24, 2014 (2014-09-24)9716Derrick LevasseurCody CalafioreDonny Thompson7–26.41
1740June 24, 2015 (2015-06-24)September 23, 2015 (2015-09-23)9817Steve MosesLiz NolanJames Huling6–36.18
1842June 22, 2016 (2016-06-22)September 21, 2016 (2016-09-21)9916Nicole FranzelPaul AbrahamianVictor Arroyo5–45.78
OTT10[f]September 28, 2016 (2016-09-28)December 1, 2016 (2016-12-01)CBS All Access6513Morgan WillettJason RoyN/AAmerica's Vote[c]N/A
1939June 28, 2017 (2017-06-28)September 20, 2017 (2017-09-20)CBS9217Josh MartinezPaul AbrahamianCody Nickson5–46.06
2040June 27, 2018 (2018-06-27)September 26, 2018 (2018-09-26)9916Kaycee ClarkTyler CrispenTyler Crispen5–45.41
2140June 25, 2019 (2019-06-25)September 25, 2019 (2019-09-25)9916Jackson MichieHolly AllenNicole Anthony6–34.38
22[d]37August 5, 2020 (2020-08-05)October 28, 2020 (2020-10-28)[151][152]8516TBATBATBATBATBA
  1. ^ Daily recap episodes that aired during the first season were approximately 20–23 minutes without commercials.
  2. ^ Weekly recap and live episodes that aired during the first season were approximately 40-43 minutes without commercials. Starting with the second season, all episodes adopted this running time.
  3. ^ a b For the first season and Over the Top, the public voted to determine the winner between the three finalists. The voting percentages were not revealed for Over the Top; however, it was revealed that the margin of victory was within 20,000 votes between the winner and the first runner–up.
  4. ^ a b Also known as Big Brother: All Stars
  5. ^ Also known as Big Brother: 'Til Death Do You Part
  6. ^ Although technically containing 11 episodes, the two episodes between episode 5 and episode 7 were officially numbered 6.1 and 6.2, leaving the official episode number at 10.


Controversy and criticism[edit]

Since its inception, Big Brother has been criticized following reports of "HIB" (Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying),[153] violence in the house, obscene language,[154][155][156][157] breach of integrity,[158][159] and the physical and mental strain of appearing on the series.[160] Several seasons have also been criticized for racism and discrimination, most notably season 15 and season 21.[161][162][163] On September 9, 2018, Chen's husband, Leslie Moonves, resigned as President of CBS after a second wave of reports of sexual misconduct allegations against him. On September 13, Chen closed out that evening's episode by saying, "From outside the Big Brother house, I'm Julie Chen Moonves. Good night." As Chen had previously never used Moonves professionally, many saw the move as Chen standing in solidarity with her husband.[164] Following her resignation from The Talk on September 18 after eight years as co-host, there was speculation on whether Chen would continue as host of Big Brother. She returned to host the following year.[165][166]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The host officially began using her married name of Moonves on the 35th episode of the 20th season.

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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°8′40.12″N 118°23′20.71″W / 34.1444778°N 118.3890861°W / 34.1444778; -118.3890861