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CBS still says yes to ‘Big Brother’

Net approves eighth season of reality show

“Big Brother” will be back for another round of real-people melodrama.

CBS has greenlit production on an eighth season of the hit summer sudser, which has become a fixture on the net’s warm-weather sked. After pausing last year for an “all-star” edition featuring past contestants, skein will return to its normal “real” people format this year.

Julie Chen is on board to once again host “Big Brother,” which first debuted in 2000, weeks after “Survivor” launched. Allison Grodner Prods. will produce, in association with Endemol USA.

There’s one behind-the-scenes twist on “Big Brother” this summer: After seven seasons, exec producer Arnold Shapiro has decided to step down from that role and will instead serve as an exec consultant.

Grodner, who’s been exec producer alongside Shapiro since both joined the skein in 2001, will now produce the skein via her self-titled banner. Also returning as exec producer: Rich Meehan.

Shapiro said he was “gratified that Allison and I were able to successfully ‘re-invent’ BB2 and turn the series into an annual summer hit.”

Grodner indicated that last year’s “all-star” edition has prompted producers to think of the upcoming season of the skein as a new starting point. “We consider ‘All-Stars’ sort of the end of an era, and now we’re getting a chance to start once again with a fresh cast and new twists,” she told Daily Variety.

Allison Grodner Prods. is also producing the Eye’s upcoming untitled kiddie quizzer (Daily Variety, Dec. 7) .

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