Big auds for 4th ‘Brother’

Series bow brought an average 6.9 million viewers

AMSTERDAM — The fourth season of “Big Brother” in the U.K. has dispelled any notion that the big daddy of reality shows may be over the hill.

The series launched Friday on broadcaster Channel 4, bringing in an average 6.9 million viewers. Its aud share of 29.3% was 16% higher than its bow a year earlier and double the first edition in 2000.

At its peak, “BB4” on opening night pulled in 7.6 million viewers, beating pubcaster BBC1’s “My Family.” A segment that aired between 10:45 p.m. and midnight, in which participants had to nominate who they thought should be kicked out, pulled 5.4 million viewers for a 35.4% aud share. That beat BBC1’s “Friday Night With Jonathan Ross.”

Channel 4 is not shy about mining auds for its highest-rated show: At 6 p.m. weekdays it offers “Big Brothers’ Little Brother,” a daily update on “BB4,” then a daily show from 10-10:30 weeknights, and a Saturday show from 9-9:30 p.m. in which contestants must complete an assigned task. On Sunday from 9-10 p.m., the week’s events are discussed by psychologists.

There is also 24-hour video streaming on satellite channel E4 and on the “BB” Web site.

Last person to remain in the house will win £70,000 ($112,000).