Big Brother Canada

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Big Brother Canada
Big Brother Canada 5 Logo.jpg

Big Brother is a Canadian television reality game show based on the original Dutch TV series of the same name, created by producer John de Mol in 1997.[2] The show is titled Big Brother Canada to differentiate from the American version of the franchise, which airs in Canada during the spring time. The series follows a group of contestants, known as HouseGuests, living together in a custom-built home under constant surveillance, while completely isolated from the outside world. The contestants are competing for a $100,000 grand prize, with weekly competitions and evictions determining who will win the show.[3][4] The series takes its name from the character in George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). With a French version and the United States version having aired in the country, Canada officially received its own English version of the series in 2013. The show was met with commercial success, and has gone on to become a hit for its parent network.

Since its inception, the show has been hosted by Arisa Cox.[5][6] It is produced by Endemol, and Insight Productions for all episodes, Shaw Media for 4 seasons prior to defunct, and Corus Entertainment for Season 5.[7] The show airs at the beginning of Spring in Canada; it originally aired on Slice for its first two seasons, before moving to Global for its third season. Since its inception, there have been a total of 119 episodes aired, and 63 different HouseGuests have competed to win the series. Upon entering the house, the HouseGuests are not permitted to leave the house at any time. HouseGuests are free to leave the house, but doing so would signify them quitting the game, and they would not be allowed re-entry. Should a HouseGuest break the rules set in the house, they can be expelled from the house. The success of the series spawned the spin-off Big Brother Side Show series, which airs following the weekly live episode and is hosted by Cox, alongside former HouseGuests Peter Brown and Sarah Hanlon. On June 7, 2016 Global announced that Big Brother Canada had been renewed for a fifth season which premiered on March 15, 2017.[8]

On June 5, 2017, Global announced that Big Brother Canada had been put on hiatus. However on July 20, 2017 it was announced that Big Brother Canada would be returning for a sixth season on Global in 2018.[9]


Main series[edit]

The Big Brother format has been available in Canada since July 5, 2000, when Global Television Network purchased the rights to transmit the U.S. version in Canada. A French Canadian adaptation of the Big Brother franchise, Loft Story, was produced and broadcast for six seasons in Quebec from 2003 to 2009.[10] In 2010, Loft Story was replaced by Big Brother 2010, which was the first international edition of the Big Brother franchise to follow a format similar to that of the U.S edition, though some changes were implemented. Big Brother 2010 aired for one season. Every season of the U.S. version has been simulcast in Canada by either Global or former sister network, CH, while airing in the United States on CBS.[7] Though viewers in Canada could vote in polls for the game, and subscribe to the live Internet feeds, Canadian citizens could not apply to be on the series unless they were also a U.S. Citizen or National.[11] Shaw Media, parent company of Global, announced on May 30, 2012, that the first English version of Big Brother would air in the 2012-13 television broadcast season in Canada on its digital cable channel, Slice.[12] Slice later announced that viewers would have online access to the entire season of live feeds for free, opting out of a subscription-based service like the one offered for the U.S. series.[13][14]

Initially, the series was scheduled to premiere on February 18, 2013;[15] however, it premiered on February 27, 2013.[16][17][18] The launch season featured fifteen HouseGuests competing to win the grand prize.[19] The season ended with Jillian McLaughlin winning the grand prize, in a 4-3 jury vote after spending 71 days in the house. The show's season finale was met with much controversy following an error with the final vote, gaining the series widespread media attention.[20] With the series proving to be a ratings success, a second season was confirmed shortly after the completion of the first. The sophomore season featured a new house, and premiered in early March.[21][22] Though fourteen HouseGuests initially entered the game, a fifteenth and final HouseGuest entered after the second week. The live feeds remained free for Canadian viewers, much like the previous season. After 71 days, Jon Pardy went on to win the series in a 6-1 jury vote..[23] Following the conclusion of the second season, it was announced that the series would be moving from Slice to sister station Global, who had aired the United States version for years prior.[1] The third season featured sixteen new HouseGuests, and began on March 23, 2015. Despite the show's change in broadcasters, the live feeds remain free for Canadian viewers, and the show's spin-offs are still on air. Sarah Hanlon won this season in a 7-2 jury vote after 70 days. The fourth season premiered on March 2, 2016. Nicholas & Philippe Paquette, who played the game as one person due to a Wildcard Twist, won the series after 77 days and a 7-2 jury vote. To date, Season 4 is the longest season of Big Brother Canada. Season 5 lasted for 69 days, and Kevin Martin, who returned along with seven other returning houseguests, was crowned the winner in a unanimous 9-0 jury vote. It was announced the show had been put on hiatus. In response the shows fan base started a campaign to save the program. After several weeks it was announced due to support from the fan base the show had been removed from hiatus and green lit for season 6 in 2018


After Dark[edit]

Following the confirmation of the show's pilot season, it was confirmed that a spin-off series known as Big Brother: After Dark would air in the country on Slice.[24] The spin-off originated as a spin-off to the United States version in 2007, and shows an uncensored look into the house throughout the night.[25] Big Brother: After Dark has aired through the first four seasons of the show, but was axed for the fifth season.

Side Show[edit]

A second spin-off series, known as the Big Brother Side Show, began airing following the live eviction episodes of the second season.[26] The show is hosted by Cox, alongside season 1 HouseGuests Gary Levy and Peter Brown. The program saw the trio interviewing the newly evicted HouseGuests, as well as featured guests from prior seasons of the Canadian and American editions.[26] The show is loosely based on the Big Brother's Bit On The Side program that airs alongside the British version of Big Brother. The show was renewed for a second season to air during Big Brother Canada 3, and was extended from thirty minutes to an hour. Cox, Levy, and Brown all returned to their hosting duties for the second season of the spin-off. For its third season, it was announced that Cox and Brown will be returning, and that season 3 winner Sarah Hanlon will be replacing Levy.[27]

On February 15, 2017, Big Brother Canada announced that the Side Show will not return for the fifth season, but instead will be replaced by a Facebook chat with host Arisa Cox after every live eviction episode.[28]


Big Brother is a game show in which a group of contestants, referred to as HouseGuests, live in a custom built "house", constantly under video surveillance.[29] While in the house, the contestants are completely isolated from the outside world, meaning no phone, television, internet, magazines, newspaper or contact with those not in the house.[30] This rule could be broken, however, in the event of a family emergency or passing.[31] 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.[32][33] While a competition, the series allows viewers to witness the relationships formed in the house and the behavior of the HouseGuests.[34] Though locked in the house, the HouseGuests are free to quit the game, though will not be allowed entry back into the house.[35] Should a HouseGuest break the rules of the game, they could be expelled from the house, and unable to return.[36][37] The contestants compete for a $100,000 grand prize.[38][39] Though these aspects of the series are carried over from its initial incarnation, the competition aspect and eviction format are based on the United States version, which adopted this format in 2001 for its second season.

The current format of the series is focused more on competition and strategy than the original series. At the start of each week in the house, the HouseGuests compete for the title of Head of Household.[40] The Head of Household for each week is given luxuries such as their own personal bedroom and free laundry service, but is responsible for nominating two HouseGuests for eviction. The 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 two weeks in a row.[41][42] The winner of the Power of Veto could choose to save one of the nominated HouseGuests, forcing the Head of Household to nominate someone in their place.[41][43] All HouseGuests excluding the Head of Household and nominees later vote to determine which of the two nominees should be evicted, and the nominated HouseGuest who received the most votes is evicted during a live episode.[41] If there is a tie in the voting, the reigning Head of Household is required to make the tie-breaker decision.[44] Unlike other versions of Big Brother, the HouseGuests may discuss the nomination and eviction process openly and freely.[41] The HouseGuests also competed in Have-Not competitions, in which the losers were required to solely eat slop for the rest of the week, as well as sleep in a special bedroom.[45] Upon reaching a point in the game, the evicted HouseGuests 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.[46] Once only two HouseGuests remain, the members of the Jury cast their votes for the winner.[47]

Much like other adaptions of the series, Big Brother features numerous twists throughout each season. The first season saw the Chevrolet Power Shift twists occurring, which involved twists such as a previously evicted HouseGuest coming back and allowing Canada to have a Power of Veto for the week.[48][49] With the second season having new sponsorship, the twists were renamed Twistos Twist. The second season featured more game-changing twists, which involved a new HouseGuest entering in the second week and Canada becoming the Head of Household for the week.[50][51] In the fourth season, there was a fake double eviction, causing the two evictees from that night to live in a separate living space for 1 week. The houseguests remaining in the main house had to unanimously decide which of the two to re-enter the game.


The Head of Household competition is held at the beginning of each week, and is most often performed on the live eviction episode.[52] The live Head of Household competitions are typically question based, and will see HouseGuests eliminated each round.[53] Various competitions throughout the season will be endurance, requiring HouseGuests to be the last one remaining in the competition.[54] Endurance competitions are often held after game changing announcements, such as when a previously evicted HouseGuest returns.[55] Various endurance competitions may have punished or reward contestants who either fall off first or last.[56] Skill based competitions also appear frequently throughout the season, some of which may last for numerous hours.[57] Skill competitions are sometimes finished during the live eviction broadcast.[58] The final Head of Household competition of each season features three rounds; the first is endurance, the second is skill, and the final is question based.[59] Currently, the record for most Head of Household wins in a single season is held by Demetres Giannitsos who won five Head of Household competitions. The Head of Household is in charge of nominating two houseguests for eviction each week. The people who hold the record for most nominations in a single season is Brittnee Blair from Season 3, with 7 times nominated.

Power of Veto competitions differ drastically from the Head of Household competition, with PoV competitions being more skill based in nature.[60] The record for the most Power of Veto competition wins in a single season is held by Kevin Martin with four veto wins in the fifth season. Ashleigh Wood and Kevin Martin hold the record for most consecutive POV wins with three. Food and luxury competitions have been a part of the series since it first premiered.

In addition to playing for power, the houseguest also compete for food and luxuries in the Have/Have-Not competition.[61] The losers must sleep in a separate bedroom, take cold showers, and eat slop for the week.[62] If a HouseGuests choose to break the slop rule, the whole house may be punished by Big Brother.[63][64] The HouseGuests also frequently compete in luxury competitions during their time in the house. Most frequently, HouseGuests will compete for the right to watch a film or television show in the house.[65]

Occasionally, Big Brother will give the HouseGuest a House Task.

Series details and viewership[edit]

Season Channel Season premiere Season finale Days HouseGuests Winner Jury vote Average viewers
(in million)
1 Slice1 February 27, 2013 May 2, 2013 71 15 Jillian MacLaughlin 4-3 0.671[66]
2 March 5, 2014 May 8, 2014 152 Jon Pardy 6-1 0.667[67]
3 Global3 March 23, 2015 May 27, 2015 70 16 Sarah Hanlon 7-2 1.120[68]
4 March 2, 2016 May 12, 2016 77 164 Nick & Phil Paquette 7-25 1.185[69]
5 March 15, 2017 May 18, 2017 69 16 (8 returning) Kevin Martin 9-0 1.007
6 2018 2018


^Note 1 : The first episode of both Slice seasons aired on Global as a preview special.
^Note 2 : Fourteen HouseGuests entered the house on Day 1, while three additional contestants faced Canada's vote to decide who would be the final Houseguest. This HouseGuest entered the house on Day 15.
^Note 3 : Beginning with the third season, the main show aired on Global. Additional programming (After Dark and Side Show) remained on Slice. As of the fifth season of the show, the spin-offs have been cancelled.
^Note 4 : Fourteen HouseGuests entered the house on Day 1, while four former contestants of other editions of Big Brother faced Canada's vote to decide which two will enter the house as "international wildcards". These HouseGuests entered the house on Day 7. In a second twist, a pair of brothers played the game as one HouseGuest.
^Note 5 One of the HouseGuests walked from the house during the season. Due to this, their vote was instead decided by the Canadian public. The houseguest casted the vote on Canada's behalf.

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]