Big Brother Axed


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Channel 5 has officially confirmed that it has axed Big Brother UK and spin-off series Celebrity Big Brother after an eight-year run.

The announcement means that the nineteenth 'civilian' series will be the last to air on the broadcaster.

In a statement, C5 said: "The forthcoming series of Big Brother will be the last – of either celebrity or civilian versions – on Channel 5.

"We'd like to thank Endemol and all of the production team who have worked tirelessly to make the show a success. We'd also like to thank our brilliant presenters – Emma on Big Brother and Rylan from Bit on the Side – for their consummate professionalism, Marcus, the voice of Big Brother and all of the housemates who have created so many memorable moments.

"Most importantly, we'd like to thank fans of the show for their support over the last seven years. We look forward to giving the final series a brilliant send-off."

In response, production company Endemol Shine UK said it was "disappointed" by C5's decision, but "excited about future possibilities" for the show.

"We are incredibly proud of Big Brother which has consistently been the highest rated show for Channel 5 over the past seven years," Endemol commented.

"Big Brother continues to be a global phenomenon. The UK is one of 20 countries where the show will air in 2018, including the U.S. where Celebrity Big Brother was recently renewed, four different versions in India and last month's Celebrity Big Brother in Germany which saw a rise of 85% series on series.

"Whilst disappointed not to reach an agreement with Channel 5 the decision opens up a new chapter and we are excited about future possibilities for Big Brother in the UK."

The news comes less than 24 hours after Endemol was granted a three-year extension on its lease for the Big Brother house. Although the show will no longer be airing on Channel 5, the house can now stay standing at Elstree Studios until September 2021.

Channel 5 originally acquired Big Brother in 2011, just months after its original eleven-year run on Channel 4 came to an end.

C5's first series, the eighth Celebrity edition in August 2011, instantly set ratings records. Its launch show remains C5's most-watched original commission of all-time – and fourth-most watched broadcast overall, behind sport and film – with 5.27million viewers.

In the years that followed, Big Brother remained C5's top performer, helping it achieve key ratings victories over rivals and turn around its financial fortunes.

Big Brother was cited as a major factor in tycoon Richard Desmond's ability to sell C5 to Viacom for a reported £450million – more than four times the £103.5million he originally bought it for. In 2016, the broadcaster then reported back-to-back years of profit for the first time in its twenty-year history.

However, both versions of Big Brother suffered sharp ratings drops last year, with the eighteenth 'civilian' series becoming the first ever to average less than 1million viewers in overnight figures.

The show first appeared to be in danger in January, when the Daily Star ran a front page story suggesting it would be axed. A month later, it emerged that Channel 5's director of programmes Ben Frow had invited production partners to pitch replacement programming.

The writing was finally on the wall at last month's Edinburgh Television Festival, when Frow stated he was "planning a year without Big Brother" in 2019.

It is unclear whether any other channels are interested in picking up the format.
Added 20-09-2018 by: Ian [Admin]


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