Channel 5's Big Brother to end in 2018?
Big Brother could leave British tv screens for good next year as Channel 5 now must decide whether to commission any more series beyond 2018.
Channel 5 last renewed the contract with the shows makers in 2015, however it was only for three years - meaning a decision now has to be made on whether or not to keep the show on air beyond next year.
At the time, Channel 5’s Chief Operating Officer Paul Dunthorne said he was “genuinely delighted” to renew the deal.
“Big Brother in all its guises brings a huge and varied cross section of viewers to Channel 5 and typifies the appointment-to-view programming we want on the channel,” he said.
However poor ratings for this year’s series could spell the end for the iconic reality show. At the same time viewers have complained that the show's casting process means it is no longer a show about the public and others say a decline in the show's budget has been visible on screen, with poor tasks and poor production.
The press even reported Channel 5 had issues with attracting a big enough live audience for this year's evictions.
Despite casting a number of ex-reality stars and big characters, this year’s 18th series was no match for itv2’s Love Island which smashed the Channel 5 show in the ratings and became a cult hit. In echos of Big Bro’s early days, a number of Love Island’s contestants have become overnight celebrities, making live PA’s and securing work on itv’s Good Morning Britain. Two contestants are even set to release a single.
Big Brother limped to its finale last Friday, which attracted less than a million viewers. A stark contrast to the show’s early days on Channel 4, when around 5 million would tune in.
A source told The Version “Big Brother costs Channel 5 a fortune to make and it’s just not paying dividends. Only Celebrity Big Brother does anything for them in the ratings and even that is struggling compared to a couple of years ago. Sadly, Big Brother is likely to end in 2018”.
Now the channel, which is owned by MTV’s parent company Viacom is likely to want to try its own formats, which will be significantly cheaper for them and give them greater creative freedom.
Channel 5 is launching its own version of Love Island this week, Make or Break, which could well become Big Brother’s replacement on the channel if it takes off.
If Channel 5 decide not to continue with Big Brother, it is likely its 19th series next year will be another All Stars series or a long speculated Celebrities Vs Civilians series. Big Brother was created in 1997, meaning next year is the 21st anniversary of it launching.
Will it be axed? Channel 5's boss Ben Frow decides.