Viewers will get the chance to help select players

CBS is planning an all-star edition of summer hit “Big Brother,” but with a twist: Viewers will help cast the show.

Details are still being hammered out, but the current plan calls for CBS and the producers to select a pool of 20 past “Big Brother” players. Viewers will then get the chance to help select which of those 20 get to move into the “Big Brother” house in Studio City.

It’s the first time any of the various international “Big Brother” formats has allowed audience members to participate in the casting process. There’s been buzz about an all-star “Big Brother” for a while now (Daily Variety, Oct. 12).

Exec producer Allison Grodner said that 12 or 14 players will ultimately move into the house, depending on how the public votes. She and CBS are staying mum over just how the voting will be conducted, but it’s expected producers will retain the right to cast some slots with past players who aren’t aud favorites.

There’s no word on a premiere date yet, but if history is any guide, skein will premiere the week of July 3 — most likely on Thursday, July 6.

Picking the cast isn’t the only way auds will participate in “Brother” this season.

“This will be the most interactive ‘Big Brother’ yet,” Grodner told Daily Variety. “Viewers will be getting involved more than in the past.”

Players will still decide who gets booted from the house and who wins the $500,000 grand prize. Julie Chen returns as host.

Producers are planning a number of other twists for the seventh season.

Grodner, Arnold Shapiro and Rich Meehan are the exec producers of “Big Brother: All-Stars” in association with Endemol USA.

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