With casting already underway for Big Brother 11, we thought that maybe CBS would bring fans another Winter edition of the network’s prolific reality series. Earlier this week, I speculated that, although it might be difficult finding time slots for Big Brother 11 this Winter, that there was a distinct possibility that Big Brother 11 could return at mid-season. Well, CBS has nipped that notion in the bud. Big Brother 11 will air in the Summer of 2009.
UPDATE: The new season of Big Brother premieres July 8 on CBS.
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CBS released this information via a press release. Although this should end speculation for the time being, it should be acknowledged that TV is a transitory business, and anything is still possible. However, in all likelihood, Big Brother 11 won’t be appearing on your television screens for at least nine months.
The circumstances in which Big Brother 9 became a Winter edition were unique. It was during the writers’ strike, at a time when CBS was desperate for original programming. This is not going to happen again, at least not in the near future, which is the major reason that a Big Brother 11: Winter edition is very unlikely. CBS, in order to quell fan speculation and avoid the risk of getting fans’ hopes up, was smart in announcing that Big Brother 11 would indeed be another Summer season.
Is it a smart move? Probably. Big Brother is an easy enough series to produce, and Allison Grodner and company are eminently capable of producing two seasons a year. The problem is that Big Brother has only been viable as a Summer tent pole series. Big Brother 10, for instance, only garnered about seven million viewers per episode. That is fine for the Summer months, but it would be among the network’s lowest rated series if it aired during the meat of the season. Re-runs of shows like CSI or NCIS or Criminal Minds all receive more than seven million viewers, so why waste money on original content if you don’t have to?