Big Brother, we’re not watch­ing you: TV show dropped

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Jim Water­son Me­dia ed­i­tor

Big Brother has been dropped by Chan­nel 5, al­most two decades af­ter the show first ap­peared on Bri­tish TV.

The fi­nal se­ries will be­gin on Fri­day, al­though there re­mains the pos­si­bil­ity that the pro­duc­tion com­pany En­de­mol Shine could con­vince an­other Bri­tish chan­nel to buy the rights.

The an­nounce­ment fol­lows the con­clu­sion of the re­cent con­tro­ver­sial se­ries of Celebrity Big Brother, in which con­tes­tants made racist re­marks and were crit­i­cised over past ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct. The pro­gramme also drew thou­sands of com­plaints to the reg­u­la­tor Of­com over the ac­tions of the ac­tor Rox­anne Pal­lett.

“The forth­com­ing se­ries of Big Brother will be the last, of ei­ther celebrity or civil­ian ver­sions, on Chan­nel 5,” said the broad­caster.

Big Brother was first shown in the UK on Chan­nel 4 in 2000. It was an im­me­di­ate rat­ings suc­cess and her­alded a new era in re­al­ity TV, creat­ing a host of stars fa­mous for noth­ing more than ap­pear­ing on the pro­gramme.

Rat­ings fell to­wards the end of its Chan­nel 4 run and in 2011 Chan­nel 5, then owned by Richard Des­mond, signed a con­tract with En­de­mol to ac­quire the pro­gramme.

In re­cent years the show has been over­shad­owed in both rat­ings and press cov­er­age by ITV2’s Love Is­land.

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