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It's official, Big Brother All-Stars is happening, and CBS has dropped the news along with a premiere date. The reality series has also laid out a rather extensive plan for how it will keep a clean and safe atmosphere on the set while filming, though there is one big question mark related to Julie Chen. Chen has been the host of Big Brother since its start, but what will her role be for this upcoming season?
Based on what we know so far, Julie Chen will continue to host the show and the live eviction episodes as she has in the past. Unlike the past, however, the live evictions will be held without a studio audience, and that's about the only concrete details we have on that process. Typically an ousted houseguest would leave the house door, and walk out to the stage for an interview with Chen, but will COVID-19 protocols make that feasible?
Reports have shown the crew has found a way to stagger so they won't be on the set for 90 days, but there's reason to believe Julie Chen may not appear on set as she has in the past. Due to the live evictions happening weekly and the show's COVID protocols, one would think that Chen would need to be quarantined throughout the entire 90 days of the show to do things as she normally would.
That's quite an ask of Julie Chen, and one that I would imagine could be easily worked around if she's not wishing to do that. Perhaps Chen will be isolating at home under special protocols or will be conducting all hosting duties from the comfort of home and talking to contestants via webcam. Jeff Probst was able to do that with the Survivor: Winners At War finale, so Chen hosting from home is not out of the question.
Julie Chen's social media is no help in revealing what she's up to. She has mostly been off the grid since COVID-19 brought about a bunch of production shutdowns, though she did pop back on closer to the Big Brother All-Stars announcement to get fans excited.
I'm no horticulturist, but that shrubbery behind the coffee cup looks similar to a fake bush. Fake shrubs and other faux greenery is not at all rare in the Big Brother backyard, though again, I could be reaching here. There's no telling what Julie Chen has been up to in the weeks before the announcement, so we can only wait and see how and in what capacity she'll be able to participate during the season.
Big Brother All-Stars is set for a two-hour premiere on CBS on Wednesday, August 5 at 9:00 p.m. After that, expect new episodes of Season 22 on Sundays and Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET, with the live eviction happening Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. CinemaBlend will continue to report on the season as it airs, as well as the latest happening in television and movies. But for now, what do you think they'll do with Chen?