‘Big Brother’ Axed from Channel 4
Channel 4 has confirmed that they are canceling ‘Big Brother’, according to a report from Variety. The last season of the show on the channel will be in 2010. Other broadcasters air the reality series as well, including E4 and S4C in Wales, but the future of the show on these channels is shaky too.
Kevin Lygo, the director of television for C4, paid tribute to the reality show, which will end after 11 seasons. The show was viewed by a record 8 million people in 2002, but has dropped to 2 million during the current season. Gossip Jackal reported Lygo saying, “Some people think Big Brother is a pariah, but millions of people think it is the biggest thing on Channel 4.”
Surprised by the axe was Endemol, the show’s production company. It is also unlikely that another broadcaster will pick the expensive series up, as Channel 4 was allegedly paying around $97 million a year since 2006 when its contract was renewed.
In a statement, Endemol said: “We are enormously proud of our partnership with Channel 4, where, as stated by the channel, Big Brother continues to be commercially successful a decade on. Internationally, the format is a worldwide…airing across 67 countries (this year), including the US, where (season 11) is having one of its most successful ever seasons after 9 years on CBS.”
‘Big Brother’s Little Brother’ presenter Dermot O’Leary says that he is relieved the bosses of Channel 4 decided to axe the reality show, as he believes the show can’t be reformatted to attract new viewers in a fresh way. However, Presenter Davina McCall and original ‘Big Brother’ winner Craig Phillips defend the show and are sad to see it go.
Meanwhile, Head of E4 Angela Jain revealed that she wishes to find an ‘event’ television show to replace ‘Big Brother’. However, she says that she will miss some things about the show, and it will be hard trying to fill up the vacant airtime in 2011. Comedy and drama are at the top of her list for E4, she added, but she is also looking at new US acquisitions.