Time To Go Back To The Future?

Posted by I.A.

Dingo has spent the last few weeks calling for changes in how Big Brother 10 will operate (her commentary on this issue has been mostly running in the right sidebar, although occasionally it appears in the main body of her daily posts). Dingo's main point is that Big Brother is successful in other countries because it's simply a more interesting game, with viewers deciding who stays and goes.

I suspect that this is too much to ask. Frankly, at this point, I would settle for a restoration of the BB we had in seasons two and three, where there no preexisting relationships among any houseguests, and there was a relative lack of contrived twists. My anecdotal opinion is that those are the seasons of BB most fondly remembered by fans, so why the producers seem reluctant to go back to that "throw 'em in there and see what happens" format is a mystery.

We're always told that we'll never again see a Season One-style BB because it was a major failure with viewers. There's just one problem with this theory: the current ratings for the show, which are nothing short of awful. The reasons why BB9 hasn't worked in the ratings probably begin with the unfamiliarity of the series in winter--fans have a certain relationship with BB and get into a certain rhythm, and the extra season threw everyone off. But it's also possible that the falling ratings are an inevitable result of a format which has gotten stale. There's nothing really wrong with this; that's the normal life cycle for a veteran series. But one has to assume another big reinvention is going to be needed, possibly as soon as this coming season. Summer show or not, the series can't go on much longer at this ratings level. The "risks" of letting viewers vote, or even of giving them a new additional role to keep them wrapped up in the season, are going to be outweighed before long by the need to find a way to increase the viewership.


Got a question? Ask Big Brother Here. Your question may be read on the air on CBS's Housecalls!