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Well, this is huge news for fans of the CBS reality show Big Brother. For the first time, after 19 seasons of the series, a celebrity version of the show will air. You will have a little while to wait, though, as this special edition of Big Brother won't air until winter 2018. Cue those live feed cameras.
The announcement was made tonight by Julie Chen at the end of the live eviction episode of Big Brother. Julie Chen is also going to host the celebrity edition of the show, which will come before Big Brother airs its milestone 20th season next summer, likely sometime between January and April of 2018. This spinoff will air on CBS, and, much like the original series, run multiple times per week with live evictions and Power of Veto and Head of Household competitions. Viewers can also tune in to CBS' streaming platform, CBS All Access, to watch coverage of the celebrities 24/7 with the live feed. And, if fans want even more of Celebrity Big Brother, Pop TV will offer fans Big Brother After Dark, a totally unfiltered feed from inside the house during the late night hours.
While this will be the first edition of Celebrity Big Brother in the United States, the U.K. has now had 20 editions of the show, which started airing in 2001. As could be expected, most of the celebrities on that show are mainly known in the U.K., but celebrities like Brigitte Nielsen, Jackie Stallone (Sylvester Stallone's mother), Dennis Rodman, Traci Bingham, Jermaine Jackson and Brandi Glanville have appeared on the show during different seasons.
Big Brother, which famously follows a group of contestants, known as housemates, as they live together in a house fitted with 87 cameras, over 100 microphones and very little privacy, began airing in summer 2000 and is one of the biggest reality franchises in television history. The housemates compete in challenges in the hopes of coming out on top and walking away with the $500,000 grand prize. All three weekly episodes of this summer's Big Brother 19 manage to rank among summer's top five broadcasts and average 7.35 million viewers.
As of right now, we don't know who we can expect for our first celebrity housemates. With any reality show, especially one where folks live together and are watched all day and night, casting will require finding the right mixture of interesting personalities who viewers also want to watch, whether for nostalgia reasons or simply because they are still well-known today. Of course, the likelihood that we'll get a Celebrity Big Brother with say, Will Smith, Jennifer Aniston and Taylor Swift in the cast is very slim. There will probably be several beloved stars of screen, song and sport from yesteryear (I don't know why I want Henry Winkler to do this, but I really, really do), some current lower-level names from the same fields and a few folks from other reality shows (I will be shocked if at least one Real Housewife of Wherever isn't involved).