CBS has found a way to soldier on as the WGA hits the streets during the writers strike. It seems that the Eye Network realized that one of their bigger shows during the dog days of summer is a thrice-weekly reality show that requires no writers and they already have the set built. Don’t look now, but Big Brother is coming back sooner than planned!

According to Variety, the network has been already casting for the peeping-Tom show for a few weeks now. If the strike lingers into the new year, the accelerated Big Brother could be ready to hit the air as soon as February. And since the show is launching in the middle of February sweeps, the producers are preparing a twist to their fighting-strangers formula.

Since there will be a lot of actors sitting around not working while the writers are out, producers are looking into the possibility of a Celebrity Big Brother. This could only work, though, if the strike lasts longer than expected, since the actors get “locked away for a three to four months during the 'experiment.'” This way, CBS gets its star power still intact in its prime-time line up, the actors get some screen time, and they can even help out charities in the process. It will also be a way for CBS to counter the NBC’s celeb-filled Apprentice stunt casting, which will air in 2008.

I’m surprised that the Big Brother option hadn’t been floated already. Even if you couldn’t have narration on the show, most of the action happens when the participants interact with each other. Also, the show has never been short on watchable moments and controversy, with contestants swinging knives and spewing racism in previous seasons. And who doesn’t like to watch the Chenbot?

So even if they don’t get the C/D-list cast and go with the usual strangers-in-a-house format, any original programming might be welcome if we still see picketing scribes by spring. This could be just the thing that could get someone likes me (who hates Big Brother) to take peek inside the house.

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