Inside ‘Big Brother’ 23: What We Know So Far

Julie Chen has hosted Big Brother since 2000

CBS Julie Chen has hosted Big Brother since 2000

The all-stars edition of Big Brother ended in October and CBS immediately renewed the long-running reality show for a 23rd season. We had some hope there was going to be a winter edition — probably a third celebrity season — but it sounds like CBS said no even though host Julie Chen Moonves and the producers were pushing for it.

So, let’s look ahead to next season. Here’s everything we know so far.

There Will Be a Shake-Up In Casting

CBS announced back in November that the casting process is changing to be more inclusive. The network set a target of 50 percent representation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) across all casts for unscripted shows, beginning in the 2021-2022 broadcast season.

Then in January, long-time Big Brother casting director Robyn Kass announced that she is leaving the show. She made no mention of the new inclusivity initiative, only that she has “been offered some big opportunities in the new year.” Kass has been casting Big Brother since the beginning, but a lot of fans think some fresh blood in that department can only be a good thing.

Kass’ replacement is Jesse Tannenbaum, the man behind the cast for Big Brother: Over the Top in 2016. Casting is still happening for the upcoming season, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance.

One of the casting agents recently did a Reddit thread about what they look for in cast members, saying, “We LOVE big gamers. We also love people who will elevate the gameplay and evolve it forward in their own unique way. … We don’t necessarily need to hear a long list of who your favorite players are. If you do mention who your favorite player is, that’s also fine! But how can you take their strategy and make it unique and your own? How can you evolve it and push it forward even more? What makes you different? We love to hear that.”

The Press Release Said It Won’t Be Back Until Next Summer

When CBS announced Big Brother’s renewal, the press release said that season 23 will premiere in the summer of 2021.

“At Big Brother, we always say ‘expect the unexpected,’ but 2020 gave us our biggest challenge to date. We could not be prouder of the entire team who delivered a fantastic season under such extreme circumstances,” said Mitch Graham, senior VP of alternative programming at CBS, in a statement. “It feels fitting for this unprecedented season to conclude with an announcement of the show’s return next summer.”

Since its premiere on CBS in the summer of 2000, Big Brother continues to be one of television’s top-rated summer series in young demographics. Summer-to-date, the Wednesday and Thursday episodes are tops in key demos among all broadcasts.

On digital platforms, the Big Brother Live Feeds are up double-digit percentage points over last season in both total streams and time spent. Across social, season-to-date, Big Brother: All-Stars is experiencing a +75 percent increase in linear social interactions compared to last season (episode 1 through episode 36), according to the CBS press release.


An Insider Said Production Wanted To Do A Winter Edition But CBS Said No

According to the Twitter account SpoilerGirl1, who is a reliable inside source with the production, “With no Survivor, CBS is considering a winter season or BBCeleb.” That was tweeted back on October 18. Then on October 29, the account again wrote, “With no Survivor, I’m still being told they want some form of a BB season before the Summer.”

When asked if it would be Over the Top, which is how technically season 23 would air next summer and OTT could air in the winter, Spoiler Girl wrote, “I haven’t heard anything about OTT. I think they want it to air on TV, but a shorter season.”

That seemed to imply it was going to be a Celebrity Big Brother. A lot of fans were rooting for it to be a season of Big Brother made up entirely of past Survivor players, which would be a celebrity version of sorts but would also have the fun of bringing back familiar reality TV faces without them having played this particular game before.

A couple of contestants — Hayden Moss from Big Brother 12 and Caleb Reynolds from Big Brother 16 both went on to appear on Survivor after their stints on Big Brother, but no one has ever gone the other way. It could be fun.

Contestants from both shows end up on The Amazing Race all the time, so we don’t see why they couldn’t find between 12 and 20 former Survivor castaways who would be willing to compete on Big Brother.

However, Chen Moonves has said that while production was pushing hard to get a winter season off the ground, the CBS executives wouldn’t go for it.

Big Brother 23 will return in the summer of 2021. Until then, we might get a new season of Big Brother Canada this winter/spring as well.

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