With BIG BROTHER 7: ALL-STARS winding down, there has been much speculation regarding a possible 8th season. Will there be one? No one is sure yet; CBS has yet give it the go ahead. No one will dispute the fact that BIG BROTHER has it’s problems. Ratings have gone steadily downhill and the quality of the show itself doesn’t live up to seasons past. What should CBS do to remedy BIG BROTHER? I have some ideas.
1. Air Two Episodes a Week Instead of Three
This may anger some Big Brother purists, but I’m sorry, it needs to happen. Each episode is chalk full of excruciating filler that is totally unnecessary. We don’t ever, ever need to be taken out of the house for a segment on someone’s home life. I don’t want that, and I think most viewers agree. Humanizing contestants dilutes their in-house personality. The point of Big Brother is for the action to exist in a vacuum. I don’t want my perception of a character I love/hate to be skewed by superfluous, real-world knowledge.
Two episodes a week would also allow more casual viewers to watch Big Brother. Three episodes a week is a big commitment, especially for a show that you really need to comprehensively watch in order to gain the utmost enjoyment. Two episodes a week would create higher ratings and a bigger fan base, as well making Big Brother an all-around more enjoyable program. No losers there.
2.Note to Casting Directors: No More Stupid People
The success of reality television typically begins and ends with the casting. The people and the human interaction is what attracts viewers in the first place, and this is especially the case on BIG BROTHER. With live feeds and three televised episodes a week, BIG BROTHER thrives on the quality of it’s cast. However, CBS has done a pretty terrible job of choosing HouseGuests lately.
This season’s ALL-STARS have been dominated, primarily, by three people: Will, Janelle, and Danielle. And, guess what? Those were probably the three smartest people in the house to begin with. You see, BIG BROTHER is a better game when it’s played by smart people vs. other smart people. Preferably morally corrupt smart people. The most enjoyable parts of the contest are the scheming, the lying, the play-acting and the backstabbing. How hard would it be for CBS to only cast people who are at least halfway intelligent? They can still be good looking, they can still be quirky and weird and loud, but at least make them capable of playing the game to it’s fullest.
3. Challenge Yard
BIG BROTHER challenges are lame. They are. You can’t argue this. However, I do think CBS does close to the best they can with the limitations they’re given: lack of room in the back yard and a lack of time to set up. I’ve come up with a simple, albeit expensive, solution: A Challenge Yard.
Keep the house and the backyard as is, but build up a huge yard in an adjoining lot to be used only for challenges. The HouseGuests would only be allowed into it (via gate or, possibly, underground tunnel) when it’s time for the next challenge. Think about it: CBS would have all the time it needs to set up elaborate and difficult competitions and the HouseGuests wouldn’t get bitter all the time during lockdowns. What is the possible downside? Sure, it might cost a little more money, but the challenges they have now look like they were conceptualized by fourth graders.
4. If You Have a Big Twist Planned, Make Sure it Actually Happens
This is mostly directed at ALL-STARS and the whole Coup D’Etat debacle. Don’t hype up your big twist over a multitude of episodes and then have it be completely inconsequential. What’s the point? The Coup D’Etat was a bad idea in the first place because they couldn’t ensure that it would be used and, frankly, it’s an unfair power anyway. So, CBS, this is what I say to you: If you have a big twist planned, don’t wait so long, don’t be mysterious about it, and just drop it on the HouseGuests unexpectedly. If you give hints then both fans and HouseGuests will begin speculating and come up with fanciful ideas, and then, when it finally is revealed, it will inevitably be a letdown.
Or, don’t have a big twist at all. Really, I don’t mind.
5.Fire Julie Chen Immediately
The Chenbot has always drawn the fan’s ire for her lack of, well, hosting abilities. She fumbles her lines constantly, speaks in a robotic manner, and is a very poor interviewer. Besides that, I guess she’s okay. Here’s the thing: even though she has gotten better and rarely screws up anymore, she still BRINGS NOTHING TO THE TABLE. AT ALL. A host is supposed add to the proceedings. Look at Jeff Probst. He has a smooth camaraderie with the SURVIVOR castaways, asks pointed and interesting questions and has an air or infectious confidence that is hard to deny. Chen is merely a wet blanket who struggles to read her own cue cards. Get rid of her.
6. Raise Prize Money to $1 million
A show called “Treasure Hunters”, which debuted this summer on NBC, gave away $3 million dollars to the winning team. SURVIVOR still gives it’s winner the $1 million. Why can’t CBS increase the $500,000 winning share for BIG BROTHER? There is still a significant portion of the viewing audience that sees BIG BROTHER as a two-bit reality show and one of the reasons is it’s (relatively) measly prize money compared to other reality shows. For CBS, an extra 500 Gs is chump change. They are just being cheap. Not only will the spike in winnings bring new viewers, it will add more in-house drama. Focus on winning would increase two-fold, and players wouldn’t give up as easily.
As it is now, BIG BROTHER contestants already make a ridiculous and lengthy sacrifice to a