CBS has been having some success running Celebrity Big Brother against NBC's Olympic coverage, and its enough to get those in the know wondering if CBS isn't eyeing the series for another season. Julie Chen, who hosted the inaugural season of the U.S. celebrity edition of the series shared her thoughts on the chances of a second season happening, and seems undecided on what the network will decide:
I wouldn't rule it out! Who knows? It's definitely possible. With these ratings, it did what we hoped as opposed to running repeats of the current slate of shows. It all depends how well all the shows on the air are doing. But don't forget, B.B. takes up a lot of real estate on the prime-time schedule. We are used to having at least three nights to air in a week. CBS is known for having a strong schedule of shows year round so it's hard to say right now what will happen next winter.
Julie Chen sounds just as curious as Celebrity Big Brother fans as she appears to have no clue what CBS will do. As Chen mentioned, the show has performed solidly in the ratings with around 5 million viewers on average tuning into episodes. The show is also keeping CBS' network regulars engaged with fresh content, as opposed to the repeats the network would've run of its favorite shows to compete with NBC's Winter Olympics coverage. In a world where the Winter Olympics run every year, it would make perfect sense for CBS to run Celebrity Big Brother as the series has done a solid job of scooping up what viewers it can from the NBC mega-event.
Of course, as Julie Chen also expressed to EW, the Winter Olympics don't come around every year. In a normal year, CBS would already be rolling along with returns of its successful shows and midseason premieres hoping to make a splash with audiences. In short, there wouldn't be a lot of space for CBS to air Celebrity Big Brother 3-5 times a week during a non-Olympic winter as those spots would be taken by shows expected to perform well in primetime. If Celebrity Big Brother was pulling in Young Sheldon numbers, it'd be a different story, but with viewership averaging on the lower end of 5 million, it'd be hard for CBS to justify airing the show multiple times a week when other shows could bring in greater numbers.
CBS could bring back Celebrity Big Brother next winter by reducing the number of episodes that air on CBS and instead primarily run the series on CBS All Access. Diehard fans of the series have already been conditioned to the 24-hour live feed that was implemented as a side-feature on the streaming service, so if folks are really passionate about seeing another season of the series next winter perhaps they'd be willing to shell out the subscription cost to see it happen. It'd be another bit of original programming for CBS All Access, which is something the service has been short on as of late as more of its original shows end their seasons.
Celebrity Big Brother's two-hour finale begins tonight on CBS at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at other shows coming to television in 2018, head over to our midseason premiere guide.