Grande Fratello

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Grande Fratello, the Italian version of the reality television franchise Big Brother, begun in September 2000, and which 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 "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.

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 by 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 be the final surviving housemate and claim the prize fund.


Series Launch date Finale date Days Housemates Winner Main presenter Grand prize Live show
Grande Fratello 1 14 September 2000 21 December 2000 99 10 Cristina Plevani Daria Bignardi £250,000,000
(nowadays €125,000)
Grande Fratello 2 20 September 2001 20 December 2001 92 16 Flavio Montrucchio Daria Bignardi £250,000,000
(nowadays €125,000)
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 3 March 2014 26 May 2014 85 17 Mirco Petrilli Alessia Marcuzzi €250,000
Grande Fratello 14 21 September 2015 28 December 2015 99 16 TBA Alessia Marcuzzi €250,000


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
Season Thirteen, won by Mirco Petrilli from Lariano, Italy


Daria Bignardi (editions: 1-2),
Barbara D'Urso (editions: 3-4-5),
Alessia Marcuzzi (editions: 6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14)


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 was put down to both the competition from rival reality television shows and the season's poor and hasty production. By the ninth edition, the show recorded increasing ratings which took the program back to its original popularity.

Despite a decline in viewing figures over the years (especially in the twelfth series), Grande Fratello is still one of the most successful reality shows in Italy.[citation needed]

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