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German pols blast ‘Big’

Leaders call reality skein a 'people zoo'

BERLIN — While commercial web RTL 2 is gearing up for the premiere of “Big Brother” on Wednesday night, German leaders are calling for the show to be pulled off the air. RTL 2 has been heavily marketing the fact that it will be putting 10 young Germans on exhibit, locked up together in a house, forced to bake their own bread, collect eggs from the backyard chicken coop and, with 28 cameras monitoring their every move, possibly end up in compromising positions.

The German version of the hit Dutch series has been blasted by politicians here, who are calling for the show to be banned for offending “human dignity” and officials of national pubcaster ARD have labeled the program “a people zoo.”

Viewers will be allowed to kick a person out of the house in telephone votes. The person left at the end of the 100 days of filming will get a $125,000 prize.

RTL 2, which has struggled with low ratings, has depended on U.S. sitcoms and soft-core porn before making “Big Brother” its daily prime-time show. The 45 segments will include edited footage from that day. Auds can also subscribe to watch 24 hours a day via the Internet.

Despite criticism of similar reality shows in the U.S., CBS has picked up the rights for a U.S. version, set to air this summer. Networks in Canada, Spain, Denmark, Italy and the U.K. have also expressed interest.

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