Big Brother host Julie Chen

CBS is planning its biggest year of “Big Brother” yet, planning more interactive and cross-platform elements to the summer reality staple, which also will be broadcast in HD for the first time.

The Eye announced on Thursday that when the show premieres later this month, the “Big Brother” house will be outfitted with 76 HD cameras and more than 100 microphones to give fans new viewpoints inside the house and double the coverage in the backyard.

The HD telecast can also be seen on “Big Brother: After Dark,” a live feed from the house during the latenight hours that will be carried for a second straight summer on TVGN, a network that CBS Corp. scooped up early last year (co-owned by Lionsgate). “After Dark,” which will have a commercial-free premiere on June 26 and more airtime throughout this summer, had previously owned on Showtime networks.

Expanded interactive and multi-platform features will bring fans closer to the houseguests with new Impact Votes, 24/7 Live Feed features and exclusive digital programming. CBS.com will kick off the season on June 25 with a new pre-premiere event, “Big Brother Live Kickoff,” hosted by former houseguest Jeff Schroeder at 7 p.m. ET. Following the June 26 episode of “Big Brother,” Schroeder will host the first “Big Brother All-Nighter,” where he will live-tweet the first 16 hours of the show’s live feeds, which return to CBS.com with new offerings, including exclusive votes just for Live Feed subscribers.

“We saw tremendous growth in engagement around the interactive and multi-platform elements we launched last year – including triple-digit growth in engagement around the fan-driven Impact Votes,” said Rob Gelick, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Platforms for CBS Interactive Entertainment. “Our goal this season is to give fans even more access and ways to affect the Big Brother house. We can’t wait for fans to see what we have in store this season.”

The 16th season of “Big Brother” will have a two-night premiere Wednesday, June 25 at 8 p.m. and Thursday, June 26 at 9, followed by its Sunday premiere a few nights later (at 8 p.m.). The first Thursday live eviction show will take place July 3.

 

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