“Big Brother” is the latest production to resume, despite the still-raging coronavirus pandemic. CBS announced Thursday that the 22nd season will be another “All-Stars” edition, debuting Aug. 5 on the Eye network.
Things will kick off live at 9 p.m. ET (and air delayed on the west coast) with a two-hour move-in “premiere event” before settling into its usual three-night-a-week schedule: Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. The Sunday and Wednesday hours will be cut-downs of the week’s events, including competitions, while the Thursday hour will feature the live eviction hosted by Julie Chen Moonves.
In order to comply with evolving health and safety guidelines amid the pandemic, CBS shared that houseguests (who will be announced closer to the premiere date) will undergo a quarantine period prior to being sequestered in the house with each other. During this quarantine, they will be tested for COVID-19 “several times,” and then once inside the house, they will continue to receive weekly testing during the season. Any supplies delivered to them during the run of the show will be disinfected prior to being dropped off.
CBS also said the houseguests will not have contact with any crew members, and all staff and crew will also be given COVID-19 tests prior to beginning work. They will be screened daily for symptoms and required to wear PPE and work in pods to enhance social distancing. For the first time, the show will be hiring a COVID-19 compliance officer to monitor and enforce all health and safety protocols.
In addition, for further safety, the live eviction show will not feature a studio audience this year.
This is in-line with the safety guidelines whitepaper put together and released last month by the Industry-Wide Labor Management Safety Committee Task Force made up of safety, physical production and labor relations executives from the major studios and union reps from SAG-AFTRA, DGA, the Teamsters and IATSE.
“Big Brother” follows a group of people living together and competing for a $500,000 prize. The “house” they are confined to for the duration of the season is outfitted with 94 HD cameras and 113 microphones so every movement and every comment can be recorded on a 24/7 basis. It is delivering its 22nd season (second-ever “All-Stars” season) on the heels of its 20th year anniversary. The global franchise first debuted its U.S. version on July 5, 2000.
The show is produced by Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan for Fly on the Wall Entertainment in association with Endemol Shine North America.
This announcement comes just one day after news that CBS’ “Love Island” is also resuming production. CBS’ daytime drama “The Bold and the Beautiful” previously resumed production, as well. On the flip side, though, one of the network’s other mega reality shows, “Survivor,” was bumped from the fall schedule because it has yet to find a way to safely start production on its new season.