Endemol to ‘Master’ reality

Dutch-based co. plan to outdo 'Big Bro'

AMSTERDAM — Dutch-based Endemol Entertainment has unveiled its newest reality format, “The Master Plan,” which pushes the privacy envelope even further than global hit “Big Brother” by asking participants to give up control of their lives for a year.

In what Endemol chairman and chief creative officer John de Mol is calling “the ultimate ‘Big Brother,’ ” five people will be monitored by camera and microphone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while they take orders from a “master” via electronic messages.

The master could tell them to pack their bags and leave home for another country at a moment’s notice, or give other orders that could irretrievably change the course of the contestants’ lives.

The show’s chief characteristic is that there appears to be no guarantees: The master even decides at the end of the year whether the participants will get a cash prize and how much.

Contestants must be at least 22, mainly because they will need “guts” and maturity, noted De Mol.

Show bows in January, although the name of the broadcaster has not yet been disclosed. Plans are in the offing to air “The Master Plan” in other territories, including Scandinavia, Germany and Portugal.

“Big Brother” was the first show to invade contestants’ privacy, shutting them in a house without outside contact and filming them almost all the time. “The Master Plan” will be 100 times more invasive, according to Endemol.

“Big Brother” airs in some 20 territories around the world and is in its third season in Holland, renamed “Big Brother — the Battle,” where it is shocking viewers and politicians. It has been moved to a later timeslot because scenes involving sex and verbal abuse are too raunchy for access primetime.

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