It's not official yet, but those rumors about there possibly being Fall edition of Big Brother appear to be carrying some weight, as a reputable source is now confirming that CBS has its eye (heh) on Big Brother 19 beginning just days after the current season wraps up.
The rumor started with Reality Blurred reporting that Big Brother 19 would air this fall, exclusively on CBS's streaming service, CBS All Access. While CBS has yet to confirm this rumor, Deadline is now supporting it with their own sources, who say Season 19 is being lined up for a Fall debut on the streaming service. They say it'll be a ten week season (a bit shorter than the usual 90-something days we get in the current summer seasons), and that it will start within days of Season 18's finale, which is scheduled to air September 21. CBS hasn't gone on record about any of this, so while it still needs to be filed under rumor, Deadline's report certainly adds more weight to it.
CBS seems to be taking a more aggressive approach to luring people over to their streaming service. In addition to providing fans of their shows with endless hours of streaming content (if you're ever in the mood to binge-watch 28 seasons worth of The Amazing Race or every episode of The Good Wife, it's there), they've been moving toward exclusive content for years now, first by moving the Big Brother live feeds over to the subscription service, and now by adding on original programming, including Star Trek: Discovery, and now, possibly a streaming-only Big Brother season.
On one hand, I can see a streaming-only Big Brother season as an opportunity on CBS's part to keep Big Brother live feed subscribers from dropping CBS All Access once Season 18 finishes up. The live feeds are included with a subscription to the service, and if ever there's a way to hold Big Brother fans' subscriptions, it's by offering us more Big Brother. Whether or not the streaming-only season manages to lure in a significant amount of new subscribers would remain to be seen.
I'm also curious about CBS's possible decision to get a new Big Brother game started so soon after the last one wrapped up. As a feed watcher (ok, a bit of a feed addict), there's a part of me that likes the break that comes after a Big Brother season wraps up. Sure, there's a bit of withdrawal that comes with it, but it's usually not until January that I start getting really anxious for the new season to start up.
And then, of course, Big Brother history needs to be taken into account. Not to be the debbie-downer of this Big Brother parade, but there's only been one other time that Big Brother has seen an off-season game, and that was during the Writers Strike. Big Brother 9 is arguably one of -- if not the -- worst seasons in the series' run. Granted, that could've just been a bad season, which just so happened to air during the winter. Still, as a super-fan, I'm apprehensive about this whole situation after that experience.
Then again, I'm happy to be proven wrong on this, and let's face it, if Big Brother 19 does kick off in the fall, I'll be all over it. Beyond that, to play devil's advocate to my own pessimism, there's opportunity here for Big Brother to take some steps in the right direction, no longer being bound to a network TV schedule. They could produce more special episodes, and maybe even do extended episodes, which could include more diary room sessions and competition footage. The format of the episodes and the extras that could be offered with a streaming-only season are much more flexible, assuming CBS and the Big Brother producers wanted to take advantage of it. And maybe there's even a twist or two that they'd be able to throw in, without being restricted to the broadcast schedule. Who knows?