Channel 4 has today announced that it will drop reality TV show ‘Big Brother’ after next summer’s eleventh series.
The broadcaster confirmed that it is not renewing ‘Big Brother’ producer Endemol’s deal for the popular show at its autumn programming launch this morning.
Channel 4 is currently in the middle of a 180m three-year deal with Endemol which means an 11th and final series will air next year before the curtain is drawn on the show.
The show made news headlines worldwide in 2007 when Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty was centre of a huge race row involving other celebrities – Jade Goody and Danielle Lloyd. Media watchdog Ofcom had reported a record 40,000 complaints against the programme.
Following the race scandal, Shilpa’s popularity rocketed and she received a number of international offers. She went on to meet the Queen, host the Indian series of ‘Big Brother’ called ‘Bigg Boss’. Recently she joined the likes of Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta by buying a stake of franchise of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) cricket.
Other notable Asian participants who have claimed success after their stints on the reality show include loud-mouth Narinder (Big Brother 2) who released a book about her ‘Big Brother’ experience.
Transsexual Nadia Almada appeared in series 5 with a secret that she was originally a man before her gender operation. Shabnam Paryani was a part of series 8 and was booted out in week one. Similarly this year Beinazir Lasharie was also evicted in week one of the series, she will host a show for Venus TV later this year. Also this year, Indian student Sree Desari was well known for his crush on fellow housemate Noirin.
Director of Television and Content, Kevin Lygo, said Channel 4 would take the opportunity to review its commissioning strategies in all genres.
Lygo said the decision not to recommission Big Brother had been dictated more by creative considerations than commercial ones. He explained, “Big Brother is still profitable for Channel 4 despite its reduced popularity and there could have been the option to renew it on more favourable terms. That۪s what a purely commercial broadcaster would have done, but Channel 4 has a public remit to champion new forms of creativity. That remit to push the boundaries has been an essential part of the weird chemistry behind Big Brother۪s success, but it۪s now what is telling us that the programme has reached a natural end point on Channel 4 and it۪s time to move on.”
Julian Bellamy, Head of Channel 4, added, “Big Brother will leave a huge hole and filling it will involve the most fundamental creative overhaul in our history. We۪ve 18 months to transform the schedule; today۪s announcement is our biggest-ever creative call-to-arms to producers to come forward with their very best ideas.”
‘Big Brother’ has suffered from falling ratings in the past couple of years, with the current run the least watched. This year’s averaged with 2 million viewers each night, compared to 5 million in its initial years.
The show is not expected to disappear from TV screens, with the prospect of makers Endemol securing a deal with another broadcaster.