By Nellie Andreeva
Original series are coming to CBS All Access sooner than we thought. I have learned that a new season of CBS’ summer staple, veteran reality series Big Brother, will air this fall on the SVOD service. Big Brother Season 19 will be 10 weeks, a little shorter than the show’s typical 13-14-week run, I hear. It will start shortly (within days) after Season 18 ends on the broadcast network with a 90-minute finale on September 21. It will be produced by the same team that makes the broadcast version and will feature a new cast of houseguests. CBS would not comment.
Speculation about a fall season of Big Brother started last week when the casting process was quietly launched, a move spotted by the blog RealityBlurred. The show’s official casting site continues to accept applications.
With Big Brother 19, CBS no doubt is looking to build on the success of the Big Brother 24/7 live feeds on All Access, which have been among the service’s most popular attractions, driving subscribers. A new installment of the voyeuristic reality series will keep the 24/7 live stream going. It is unclear yet how the live eviction episodes of Season 19 will be presented on the digital platform.
CBS All Access was supposed to launch original series with the January premiere of drama Star Trek: Discovery, the anticipated TV reboot of the classic sci-fi franchise, with a new series launching each quarter after that. With Big Brother 19, CBS All Access will keep the schedule of one new series every 3-4 months but will move the kickoff up by a quarter.
This will be Big Brother’s second installment airing outside of summer. The previous time was Season 9, which ran in midseason 2008 as a reaction to the writers strike, which left broadcast networks without scripted originals for a large portion of the 2007-08 season.
With Big Brother 19, CBS All Access will become the first subscription streaming service to launch a competition reality series, beating rival Netflix, whose Sylvester Stallone-produced Ultimate Beastmaster is now filming.