Big Brother (U.S.)

Big Brother (U.S.)

"Big Brother" is an American version of the "Big Brother" reality television show based on the Dutch television series of the same name originally created in 1997 by John de Mol.cite web |url= |title= `Big Brother' Watches Their Every Movement |accessdate= 2008-04-19 |last= Carman |first= John|date= 2000-07-05 |publisher= San Francisco Chronicle |language= English] The show is based on a group of strangers, known as HouseGuests, living together twenty-four hours a day in the "Big Brother" house, isolated from the outside world but under constant surveillance with no privacy for three months. In ten seasons, 118 different people have entered the Big Brother house.

The HouseGuests compete for the chance to win a $500,000 grand prize by avoiding weekly eviction, the last HouseGuest remaining at the end of the season wins the $500,000 grand prize. The American series is hosted by television personality, Julie Chen. Produced by Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan, it currently airs in the United States and Canada on CBScite web|url =|title ="BIG BROTHER: 'TIL DEATH DO YOU PART" HERE...THERE..EVERYWHERE |accessdate = 2008-03-09 |date= 2008-02-11 |publisher = CBS press release via The Futon Critic] and GlobalThe Early Show". Television critics gave Chen largely negative reviews during her first season (2000), citing wooden delivery,cite web|url =|title ='Big Brother' tries again|publisher =St. Petersburg Times] stilted interaction with the studio audience, weak interviews with evictees on the live programs, and her overuse of the phrase "But first..." [cite web|url =|title ='Big Brother' has her under a watchful eye|publisher = USA Today] This led fans to dub her "the Chenbot", a moniker of which Chen is aware and says she accepts. [cite web|url =,,1200092,00.html|title =Big Shot|publisher = Entertainment Weekly] [cite web|url =|title =Inside Move: Mugs do not bug Chen|publisher = Variety Magazine]

The announcer played an active role in the first season introducing every scene, but with the major changes to the program after the initial season, the announcer was relegated to the opening and closing of each episode. There have been several different announcers throughout the years. Past announcers include Dave Walsh (season one and episode 2 of season two), [ [ Dave Walsh] Yahoo TV Retrieved 2007-09-04] Chuck Riley (season two), [ [;_ylt=Ah.IsbZsRbwDxFqw9ZarQYK.o9EF Chuck Riley] Yahoo TV Retrieved 2007-09-04] and Phil Proctor (seasons 3-6 ). [ [;_ylt=Ah.IsbZsRbwDxFqw9ZarQYK.o9EF Phil Proctor] Yahoo TV Retrieved 2007-09-04] The current announcer is Clayton Halsey [ [ Clayton Halsey] Yahoo TV Retrieved 2007-09-04] and has been the announcer since season seven.


The format for season one was radically different than in the following seasons. Season one was identical to international versions of "Big Brother" in which each HouseGuest would individually go to the Diary Room and nominate two fellow HouseGuests for banishment.cite episode| title = BB1 Ep. #1| series = Big Brother| serieslink = Big Brother (U.S.)| airdate = (July 5, 2000)| season = 1| number = 1] (The term "eviction" was not used until season two.) The two or more HouseGuests with the most nominations are then revealed to the House and were "Marked for Banishment", then the public was invited to vote for who they wish to evict by calling a premium rate telephone number. The HouseGuest who received the greatest percentage of the public vote was evicted. When there were three HouseGuests left the public would vote for the winner.

Beginning with the second season the HouseGuests compete to become "Head of Household" or HoH. The Head of Household is responsible for nominating two HouseGuests for eviction. [ Big Brother's Back!] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04] During the Live Eviction show, HouseGuests individually go into the Diary Room and cast their vote to evict. Julie then reveals the results of the vote to the House, and tells the evicted houseguest has only a few moments to leave the house. In the event of a tie a HOH breaks it. [ House Votes Out Sheryl 5 to 3] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04] When two HouseGuests were left, the evicted HouseGuests voted for the winner and in the event of a tie the public would have broken the tie. [ Will Power!] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04]

During season three a new power was introduced called the Power of Veto (PoV). The Power of Veto winner can choose to veto one of the Head of Household's initial nominations. The winner is also protected from becoming a replacement nominee for the week. [ Everything Changes] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04] Originally, the Power of Veto was silver and if a nominee won the Power of Veto the nominee could not save themselves. The "Golden" Power of Veto, introduced in the last veto competition in season three, could be won by a nominee and used to save themselves. The Golden Power of Veto is now the standard veto since season four. [ Marcel-less!] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04]

The fourth season introduced the "Big Brother Jury", sometimes referred to as the "Jury of Seven". The Jury is made up of the final seven evicted HouseGuests. As each member of the Jury is evicted from the House they are sequestered in a separate house. The jury members are not allowed to watch the show except for segments which include all of the HouseGuests, for example the nominations and Power of Veto ceremonies. The jury members are not shown any Diary Room interviews or any footage involving strategy or twists to the game. The "Big Brother Jury" votes to determine the winner of "Big Brother" each season. [ Big Brother 4 twists revealed] "JAM! Showbiz" Retrieved 2007-09-04]

Live Show

The live show has been broadcast live on Wednesday nights since Season 9 and was on Thursday nights for the first eight seasons. After a few weeks into the Tenth season, the live show was moved back to the original Thursday showing. During the first season the live show would feature highlights, nominations and banishments. Originally, the live show featured a studio audience along with guest commentators Dr. Drew Pinsky, best known for "Loveline" on MTV, and (sponsor) America Online "Internet Advisor" Regina Lewis.

Beginning with the second season Julie presents the live show in an empty studio overlooking the house. Highlights are shown during the live show, then one (or two in the couple's edition) HouseGuest is evicted and briefly interviewed by Julie. Then, the Head of Household competition is held. For the most part quizzes are held to determine the next Head of Household due to the show's running time. Some Head of Household competitions do not finish during the live show and are broadcast on the live Internet feeds with the results and highlights of the Head of Household competition broadcast on the next episode. Starting with the tenth season the live show will feature a studio audience during the live eviction shows.cite web|url= |title=Big Brother |accessdate=2008-06-18]

Live Internet feeds

Each year CBS has made live streaming Internet video feeds from the Big Brother house available through RealNetworks. The Internet feeds were free during season one but became a subscription service beginning with season two. In order to preserve the drama for television broadcasts, CBS does not webcast certain moments that transpire in the house, including weekly challenges and the nomination/eviction process. Slanderous statements and singing of copyrighted music is also blocked for legal reasons.cite web |url= |title=CBS and RealNetworks Offer up Big Brother Subscriptions |accessdate= 2008-04-04|date= 2001-07-06|publisher=] cite web |url= |title=CBS AND REALNETWORKS BRING "BIG BROTHER 5" LIVE TO THE INTERNET — PREMIERING TONIGHT! |accessdate= 2008-04-04|date= 2004-07-06|publisher= RealNetworks/CBS] cite web |url=|title= CBS.COM: THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION FOR "BIG BROTHER 6"|accessdate= 2008-04-04|date= 2005-07-06|publisher= The Futon Critic/CBS] cite web |url=|title= CBS'S SUMMER OF "BIG BROTHER" ON-AIR (CBS), ONLINE (REALNETWORKS®, CBS.COM AND THE CBS AUDIENCE NETWORK), ON THE PHONE (CBS MOBILE) AND NEW THIS SUMMER - ON SHOWTIME!|accessdate= 2008-04-04|date= 2006-06-11|publisher= The Futon Critic/CBS]

Seasons and twists

Ever since the show began, "Big Brother" has had a central twist every season. The twists are:

*Big Brother 1: The premise of the show -- America watching in on a group of people -- is introduced.
*Big Brother 2: The new format is introduced -- the Head of Household nominates two HouseGuests and the other HouseGuests vote on which nominee is evicted.
*Big Brother 3: The Power of Veto is introduced, allowing HouseGuests to take one of the Head of Household's nominees off the block.
*Big Brother 4: "The X-Factor" - Ten of the HouseGuests have ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends in the game, competing against them. Also, the "Big Brother Jury of Seven", which selects the winner, is introduced.
*Big Brother 5: "Project DNA: Do Not Assume" - A set of identical twins secretly play as one HouseGuest, switching places intermittently in secret. Two other HouseGuests find out that they are related. Only six HouseGuests get to compete for the Power of Veto each week.
*Big Brother 6: "Summer of Secrets" - Each HouseGuest has a secret partner. If a set of partners makes it to the Final 2, the winner wins $1,000,000 and the runner up receives $250,000.
*Big Brother 7: "All Stars" - 14 people from past seasons get to play the game again. The three extra players for the Power of Veto are chosen by random draw.
*Big Brother 8: Three of the HouseGuests learn they will be playing against nemeses from their pasts. One HouseGuest, known as "America's Player", must perform certain tasks given by viewers of the show for financial rewards.
*Big Brother 9: " 'Til Death Do You Part" - Players are paired up with their "soul mate", with whom they must play the game. cite web|url = date=02/06/08&id=20081202cbs03|title = CBS Announces 16 new houseguests for Big Brother 9 |publisher = Celebrity Spider]
*Big Brother 10 - Back to basics season with no casting twist, reintroduces the original concept of "Big Brother". Live audiences during the live shows return for the first time since Big Brother 1. Follows the format introduced in Big Brother 2 and Big Brother 3 with several twists from past seasons such as America's Player returned during the season.cite web|url=|title="Big Brother" Returns To Original Form For Its 10th Edition, Premiering, Sunday, July 13 On The CBS Television Network|publisher=CBS Express |date=2008-07-08 |accessdate=2008-07-08] cite web |url=|title= 'Big Brother 10' Back With Less Twist, More Scheme|accessdate=2008-07-08 |date=2008-07-08 |publisher= KCBS-TV]
*Big Brother 11 - Renewed by CBS, scheduled to air in 2009.cite web |url=|title= CBS Orders 11th Season of 'Big Brother'|accessdate=2008-09-20 |date=2008-09-19 |publisher= TV Week]

International Broadcasts

Two seasons of the American version of "Big Brother" have aired in the United Kingdom in addition to airing in the United States and Canada. "Big Brother 4" aired in the United Kingdom on E4 after the fourth edition of the British version ended. E4 aired the three weekly episodes and live footage from the House. The live footage was a time delay so viewers wouldn't be confused between the episodes and the live footage.cite web |url= |title= Big Brother USA to air in UK! |accessdate= 2008-04-23 |last= Wilkes |first= Neil |date= 2003-06-26|publisher= Digital Spy] Later seasons did not air in the United Kingdom due to conflicts with the British version. E4 announced on February 8, 2008 that "Big Brother 9" would air on the channel. The ninth edition of the American edition premiered on February 14, 2008 two days after its American/Canadian premier. Unlike with "Big Brother 4" E4 did not air live footage from the House during "Big Brother 9" instead only the three weekly highlight shows were aired.cite web |url= |title= E4 picks up US 'Big Brother' |accessdate= 2008-04-23 |last= Wilkes |first= Neil |date= 2008-02-08 |publisher= Digital Spy] The tenth American edition won't air in the United Kingdom due to conflicts with the British version.cite news|first=Neil|last=Wilkes|title=Tube Talk|url=|publisher="Digital Spy"|date=2008-03-28|accessdate=2008-03-28]


"House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show"

"House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show" is a live Internet talk show hosted by Gretchen Massey and focuses on events in the Big Brother house as well as taking phone calls from viewers. The show started in 2004 during "Big Brother 5" with Marcellas Reynolds as host/co-host, and became quite popular. "House Calls" has returned during each season of "Big Brother". For "Big Brother 9", Massey will co-host with "Big Brother 8" winner "Evel" Dick Donato, runner up Daniele Donato, season two's Bunky and season six/seven Kaysar. Contestants on "Big Brother" are bound by contract to appear on the webcast the Friday after their live eviction. Evicted sequestered HouseGuests do not appear on the show after their eviction.cite episode
title =
episodelink =
series = House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show
serieslink = Big Brother (US)#House_Calls:_The_Big_Brother_Talk_Show
airdate = 2007-08-31
season = 4
number = 41
] cite web
last = Mitovich
first = Matt Webb
authorlink =
title = Big Brother Lockdown! Evictees Off-limits to Press
publisher =
date = 2007-08-31
url =
accessdate = 2007-09-01

The popularity of "House Calls" has spawned other Internet talk shows, including "Survivor Live" for "Survivor", "Finish Line" and "Elimination Station" for "The Amazing Race", "Talk Model" for "America's Next Top Model", and various Aftershows on MTV Overdrive for MTV programming.

"Big Brother: After Dark"

"Big Brother: After Dark" airs nightly from Midnight to 3:00 a.m. Eastern time (9:00 p.m. to Midnight Pacific time) on Showtime 2 and featured footage from the same live camera feeds that were made available to subscribers of the shows 24/7 live Internet feeds. This program featured house activity happening between those times, and was edited only for slanderous statements and music copyrights. [ [ CBS plans 'Big Brother' spin-off] "Variety"] According to executive producer Allison Grodner, these three hours are entertaining as "That's prime time for the Big Brother house. It's when our HouseGuests are most wide awake and having fun, talking about strategy and playing the game. People are going to see quite a bit." [ [ Big Brother: After Dark, by Isabelle Carreau] TV Squad]


Competitions have been part of the show since season two. Various competitions force the HouseGuests to work together, in teams, or against each other for prizes or power. There are three different styles of games: endurance contests test which HouseGuest can last the longest doing a certain task (such as holding a key); games of skill test the HouseGuests' athleticism, ingenuity, or luck; and quizzes test the HouseGuests' knowledge of each other and the house. All three styles are used to varying degrees in the weekly competitions. Sometimes, a recycled competition that has appeared in a previous season is used. For example, the game "Majority Rules" (in which the HouseGuests have to answer questions with opinions while trying to stay with the majority until the tie-breaker question), which debuted in season five, has been recycled into the sixth season and the eighth season, each time being played for Head of Household.

Head of Household (HoH)

After each eviction (except the first week), HouseGuests compete to become the Head of Household. Due to the live show's time limit, quizzes are normally used for this competition. Games of skill also appear as HoH competitions occasionally, while the endurance contest is only used two to three times a season.

The HoH receives perks such as their own private bedroom, photos or gifts from home, and maid service. The HoH also nominates two HouseGuests for eviction. If one of the nominees is removed via the Power of Veto, the HoH will name a replacement nominee. The HoH reigns until the next eviction in which he or she may not vote except to break a tie. The HouseGuest may not participate in the following HoH competition unless only three HouseGuests are remaining.

The final HoH competition occurs when only three HouseGuests remain. The competition is held in three parts. For the first stage, the HouseGuests compete in an endurance contest requiring the HouseGuests to hang on to their keys in the face of some unusual circumstance. The second stage is commonly a game of skill between the losers of the previous stage. The winners of first and second stage face off in a quiz where the participants must guess what departed HouseGuests thought. The winner of the third stage becomes the last HoH while the two other HouseGuests are automatically nominated. As none of the trio are eligible to vote, the last HoH breaks the 0-0 tie and chooses who to evict.

Although normally one HouseGuest normally retains the Head of Household rewards and responsibilities for the week, exceptions have occurred. In a "double eviction" week, the first HoH only reigns for a short period (between an hour and three days) while the second HoH reigns for the rest of the week. When this occurs, the first HoH is normally not provided the benefits such as use of the HoH bedroom. Another exception is when two HouseGuests were co-Heads of Household the first week of "Big Brother: All-Stars". The co-HoHs had to agree on two nominees or else become the nominees themselves and lose their HoH privileges. The winner of the Power of Veto competition would break a tie on the eviction vote if it had occurred that week.

The HoH has been adopted by some other countries with different rules, including the Australian version and the United Kingdom version.

Power of Veto (PoV)

Each week after the Head of Household has announced the week's nominees the six HouseGuests (the nominated contestants, the current HoH, and three other housemates, if possible) compete for the Golden Power of Veto. The winner of the Golden Power of Veto can choose to veto one of the Head of Household's initial nominations. The winner is also protected from becoming a replacement nominee for the week. This competition is more often a game of skill instead of a quiz or endurance contest.

Food Competition

Food competitions allow the HouseGuests to win food for the week. Most food competitions are games of skill, although the HouseGuests may work individually, in teams, or as one group. The Head of Household hosts the Food Competition and can eat any food the winners would earn. Winners eat a variety of food during the week. Losers go on food restriction, which usually lasts until after the next eviction and HoH competition. However, food competitions may not be held every week. For example, no food competitions were played the latter half of season six.

During seasons two through six, the food restriction was a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk, water, and condiments. Starting in "All Stars", the sandwiches were replaced with "Big Brother Slop". The slop looks like oatmeal and has essential nutrients, but it is not appetizing. The HouseGuests can win "passes" to escape food restriction once. The passes are transferable until used or its holder is evicted, so trading the pass became a tool in strategy.

When all HouseGuests compete as one group, the competition changes slightly. The competition is not for all food or food restriction for the whole week. Instead, the HouseGuests may compete to earn different food groups. Alternatively, the HouseGuests may compete to earn the full food diet for each day of the week.

To date, HouseGuest Jen Johnson of Season 8 is the first house guest to defy the slop rules, eating a turkey burger, cottage cheese, and an apple. By doing so she originally received a penalty nomination for the following week but this was later replaced with a penalty eviction vote during Week 7 due to the original punishment being found unfair to the week's other nominee Jameka Cameron. This is the first penalty in "Big Brother" U.S. history.

Luxury Competitions

The Luxury Competitions allow the HouseGuests to win special prizes. They usually involve games of skill. Examples of previous luxuries earned include margarita parties, movie screenings, and access to newspaper clippings. This competition occurred frequently in the earlier seasons. In later seasons, Luxury Competitions are held less frequently as the show began giving prizes away during the Head of Household and Power of Veto competitions. An example of this is the backyard's hot tub. The first Luxury Competition in seasons two through five were to earn the key to the hot tub. However, the hot tub's key was hidden in the Gold room in season six, and the hot tub was not locked at all in seasons seven thought nine.

America's Vote

America's Vote, formally titled America's Choice, allows the viewing public to select a HouseGuest to receive a special opportunity not available to other HouseGuests. Voting is done through the CBS website and text messaging. Though HouseGuests do not actively compete for the reward, it is essentially a reward based on viewers' opinions of the HouseGuests. America's Choice contests begin midway through each season and occur weekly. Previous contests have allowed HouseGuests to make a mobile phone call to family, have a walk-on role for a CBS soap opera, and conduct an internet chat with fans. In season six, the first America's Choice contest was to vote a previously evicted HouseGuest back into the house. America's Choice is not always a choice between contestants to earn a special opportunity. Sometimes viewers are asked what challenge the HouseGuests should play or what kind of appliance would be given to the HouseGuests. In season eight, America's Choice spun off into America's Player, where Eric was chosen to fulfill tasks voted on by the public for financial reward. During Big Brother 10 America's Choice was renamed America's Vote.

Criticisms and controversy


After the premier of the first season Chicago attorney Marvin Rosenblum filed a lawsuit against CBS, then corporate parent Viacom, and the production company Orwell productions for alleged copyright infringement. Rosenblum, a producer of the film "1984", owns the film & TV rights to the novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and claimed the show "illegally borrows from it."cite web |url=,,85516,00.html |title= Eye Brawl |accessdate= 2008-04-19 |last= Reese |first= Lori |date= 2000-09-05 |publisher= Entertainment Weekly ] Rosenblum accused the network of illegally using the "Big Brother" moniker from the novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" and "deceiving the public into thinking the author's classic novel was the origin of the show." CBS, Viacom, and Orwell Productions filed a motion to dismiss the $20 million lawsuit.cite web |url= |title= "Big Brother" Lawsuit Survives First Round |accessdate= 2008-04-19 |last= Grossberg |first= Josh |date= 2001-01-04 |publisher= E! Online ] The dismissal was denied on January 4, 2001. In 2001 Rosenblum, CBS and Viacom settled the lawsuit under undisclosed terms.cite web |url= |title= Can Sheer Coincidence Be Trademarked? |accessdate= 2008-04-19 |last= Jennings |first= Jay |date= 2001-04-14 |publisher= The New York Times ]

= Big Brother 2 =

HouseGuest Justin Sebik was expelled on Day 10 for breaking "Big Brother" rules. Justin threatened his fellow HouseGuests with physical violence and intimidation, a violation of one of the most serious House rules.

Julie Chen, host of "Big Brother", explained that Justin was given an official warning that such behavior was not appropriate in the "Big Brother" house. Justin repeated the warning, proving that he understood the rule. His behavior included destruction of house property, culminating in a final incident during which he and Krista were kissing on the kitchen table. He picked up a metal carpet sweeper and asked her, "Would you get mad if I cracked you over the head with this?" He swung the carpet sweeper towards Krista but put it down and kissed her. He walked away from her in the kitchen and asked, "Would you get mad if I killed you?" He then picked up a large knife, returned to Krista and, while they kissed, placed the knife against her throat. He briefly took the knife away from her throat but, with Krista's encouragement, returned the knife to her throat and they begun kissing again. As the kiss ended he put the knife down. [ [ House Votes Out Sheryl 5 to 3] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04]

After a confrontation with the show's psychologist, it was decided that Justin would be expelled from the Big Brother house. [ [ House Votes Out Sheryl 5 to 3] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04] Krista Stegall later sued CBS over the incident. [ Big Brother's global controversy] "BBC News" Retrieved 2007-09-04] [ [,1002,271%7C76777%7C1%7C,00.html Big Brother 2's Krista Sues CBS] "" Retrieved 2007-09-04]

= Big Brother 4 =

HouseGuest Scott Weintraub was expelled on Day 8 after having a violent outburst in the house, related to the season twist, X-Factor. Scott tossed furniture around the House, delivered an expletive-laden rant, and refused to go to the Diary Room when called. He later apologized to his fellow HouseGuests who were uncomfortable with his actions in the house. Once Scott went to the Diary Room he was removed from the house and expelled. [ [ Dana Wins Power of Veto, Scott Expelled] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04]

= Big Brother 6 =

HouseGuests Eric Littman and Michael Donnellan got into a confrontation regarding comments Michael made about Eric's family. Earlier in the evening, Rachel who was eavesdropping on Janelle and Michael in the Gold Room overheard Michael make a poor joke about Eric's grandparents to Janelle. Rachel told Eric that she heard them badmouthing his family. Later that night Eric and Ivette were outside discussing the incident when Michael went outside. Eric provoked Michael who retorted, calling Eric "a midget with a small penis." Eric lost all control going after Michael. The other HouseGuests blocked Eric's attack at Michael. Big Brother intervened, telling Eric to leave the backyard and go to the Diary Room, and telling Michael to go to the storage room. Shortly afterwards, Ivette attacked Kaysar's beliefs and made racial remarks. Big Brother intervened again giving warnings to all HouseGuests. Eric apologized to his fellow HouseGuests, saying he would never hurt anyone. [ [ Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones...] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-09-04]

= Big Brother 8 =

HouseGuest Richard "Evel Dick" came under some controversy for his loud abusive behavior towards female HouseGuests; especially Jen. This culminated in an event in which Dick poured iced tea on Jen's head while she was engaged in an argument with HouseGuests Nick and Dick's daughter Daniele. This led some fans and the National Organization for Women to call for his expulsion from the house. He never was. [cite web|url=|title=Big Brother 8 bits: Dick’s tea assault; banners return; house visit; Chill Town and Jen|accessdate=2007-09-04]

Another HouseGuest, Amber, who has admitted to a previous addiction to meth, garnered national attention after making what were considered anti-Semitic statements. [ [,2933,292499,00.html Anti-Semitic Rant on CBS' 'Big Brother 8'] URL accessed 8/11/07 3:18 AM] Hollywood news conglomeration Defamer criticized Amber's sentiments. [ Contestant forgets that Big Brother 8's new intolerance cam is always watching] "Defamer" Retrieved 2007-08-08] Notably, aggregate TMZ reported about Amber's remarks, especially those about being able to recognize a Jew by the size of their nose or their last name. [ Big Brother shiksa learns Jew have Jewish names] "TMZ" Retrieved 2007-08-08] Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League told the website:

"It's offensive. It's part of the unintended consequences of the communications revolution. Anybody can say what they do - but reality shows are now giving license to these expressions of anti-Semitism. Now, all of a sudden, the world is privy to their bigotry and it's on national television... then enhanced on YouTube. What they've done is distributed anti-Semitism -- which started as a private conversation -- and by putting it on a reality TV show broadcast it to the world at large. I want CBS to understand they are facilitating anti-Semitism. They should act responsibly to the community; they are legitimizing bigoted conversation."
This impelled CBS to release a statement about the controversy:
"BIG BROTHER is a reality show about watching a group of people who have no privacy 24/7 - and seeing every moment of their lives. At times, the Houseguests reveal prejudices and other beliefs that we do not condone. We certainly find the statements made by Amber Siyavus on the live Internet feed to be offensive and they will not be part of any future broadcast on the CBS Television Network. Any views or opinions expressed in personal commentary by a Houseguest appearing on BIG BROTHER 8, either on any live feed from the House or the broadcast, are those of the individual(s) speaking and do not represent the views or opinions of CBS or the producers of the program."

The Associated Press will decline to interview Amber and Jameka if they are members of the Jury, due to the fact that they are not allowed to ask both contestants about Amber's comments. A CBS spokesperson reported that asking Amber or Jameka about Amber's comments could influence the jury voters and affect the integrity of the game. [ Controversies Fuel "Big Brother 8"] "" Retrieved 2007-08-30]

On Day 52 Jen, who was named as a replacement nominee for Amber, packed and scattered her belongings through the House, destroyed and bleached Dick's cigarettes. [ Schoolyard Scorecard] "CBS Official Site" Retrieved 2007-08-30.] Big Brother later informed Dick they would replace the cigarettes. Jen began to cook food while on a slop restriction Later that night, Jen went outside and ate food while on slop. [ Are You Ready to Rumble?] "CBS official site" Retrieved 2007-08-25] Big Brother told Jen she would receive a penalty nomination, she must be a nominee for the entire week and cannot win HoH or Veto for Week 8 if she survived Week 7. [cite web|url=|title=Jen Calls Big Brother’s Hand - Dick Goes Off Again|accessdate=Aug 25|accessyear=2007] This was found unfair to Jameka, the other Week 7 nominee, and the penalty nomination was removed. [cite web|url=|title=Penalty Nomination Version II - NIX THAT!|accessdate=Aug 25|accessyear=2007] Jen would instead receive a penalty eviction vote for Week 7 plus any votes cast against her by her fellow HouseGuests.

Later, Dick lit a cigarette and blew smoke in Jen's direction while she was eating. Jen asked for Dick to stop, but he did not. Jen then reached to get the cigarette from Dick several times and was burned by the cigarette. Jen began to yell that Dick burned her on purpose. This incident ended with Dick yelling at Jen: “Go home, just go home.” Jameka pulled Jen away from the confrontation and to the bathroom. Neither Jen or Dick were expelled from the House and Jen was evicted on Day 55. Jen said to the Associated Press: "I definitely think he should have been kicked out, but obviously he was definitely entertainment for the show, so that's why he was not."

Due to the controversy surrounding offensive remarks and controversial behavior made by several HouseGuests, this season CBS did not allow the mediacite web
last = Mitovich
first = Matt Webb
authorlink =
title = Big Brother Lockdown! Evictees Off-limits to Press
publisher =
date = 2007-08-31
url =
accessdate = 2007-09-01
] or even companion show ""cite episode
title =
episodelink =
series = House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show
serieslink = Big Brother (US)#House_Calls:_The_Big_Brother_Talk_Show
airdate = 2007-08-31
season = 4
number = 41
] to interview evicted HouseGuests who are a part of the jury of seven to vote for the winner of "Big Brother 8" beginning with Amber. They were allowed to interview the HouseGuests after "Big Brother 8" was over.

= Big Brother 9 =

HouseGuest Adam Jasinski made disparaging remarks during the first episode of the season, causing Autism United to demand an apology from CBS. cite web | last = Associated Press | title = Autism group demands apology from CBS | publisher = Yahoo! News | date = 2008-02-18 | url =;_ylt=Agd89VOE9Gei8BmihuxDXzIE1vAI | accessdate = 2008-02-18 ] During the first Wednesday episode, after the Power Couple Competition, Adam stated he worked for an autism foundation and would spend his winnings on a hair salon for people with developmental disabilities "so retards can get it together and get their hair done." His partner in the House, Sheila, told him not to "call them that," to which he said he "can call them whatever I want" because he "work [s] with them all day."cite web | last = Associated Press | title = Autism Group Demands Apology From CBS | publisher = TV | date = 2008-02-18 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-18 ] cite web | last = Associated Press | title = Autism Group Demands Apology From CBS | publisher = iWon News | date = 2008-02-18 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-18 ] In a letter obtained by TMZ from John Gilmore, Executive Director of Autism United to Sumner Redstone, Chairman of CBS Corporation, Gilmore demanded action be taken after the Wednesday episode. Gilmore claimed that the network chose to air the segment for "their own personal goals." The organization also called for the show to be canceled and the organization has contacted advertisers over the issue.cite web | last = TMZ Staff | title = Autism Group to CBS: Fire That Retard! | publisher = | date = 2008-02-18 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-18 ] Due to the controversy, Lowe's has decided not to advertise during future "Big Brother" episodes, but it was unclear whether or not they were currently advertising during the program. Autism United has also contacted other advertisers, such as Campbell's Soup, Claritin, Geico, McDonald's and Taco Bell.cite web | last = Hein | first= Kenneth | title = Lowe's Pulls Ads From 'Big Brother' | publisher = Adweek | date = 2008-02-22 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-22 ] Autism United and various parents in South Florida are calling for an investigation into Adam Jasinski and the United Autism Foundation. The organization claims to be a 501 c3 charity (deductions made to the organization would be considered tax deductible under current IRS regulations.)cite web | last = Scouten | first= Ted | title = Big Brother Controversy May Lead To Investigation | publisher = WFOR-TV | date = 2008-02-22 | url = | accessdate = 2008-02-22 ] The website for United Autism Foundation has an apology regarding Adam's behavior and states he will no longer be working for the company.cite web | last = Post staff writer | title = 'BIG BROTHER' STAR FIRED FOR 'RETARD' COMMENT | publisher = New York Post | date = 2008-02-27 | url = | accessdate = 2008-04-07 ] cite web | last = Angus | first = Kat | title = Big Brother Contestant Fired From Real-Life Job | publisher = | date = 2008-02-29 | url = | accessdate = 2008-04-07 ]

On Day 31, Matt used the word "nigga" when referring to another (white) HouseGuest. The incident in question was aired on both the live Internet feeds and the spin-off show "" on Showtime 2.cite web | last = TMZ Staff | title = "Big Brother" Keeps Churning Out the Idiots | publisher = | date = 2008-03-09 | url = | accessdate = 2008-03-09 ]

On Day 70, there was a controversial Head of Household competition. In the competition, Adam, Sharon and Ryan were read a series of seven statements relating to events in the game. The HouseGuests were to determine if each statement was "fact" by stepping forward or "fiction" by stepping backward. Each HouseGuest had their own section, so they could not see the answers of other HouseGuests. Many fans of the show, including "" co-host Evel Dick, were displeased with the final "fact or fiction" statement.cite episode |title= Big Brother 9 - House Calls 4.17.08 |url= |series= House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show |serieslink= House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show|credits= Gretchen Massey|network= |airdate= 2008-04-17] The controversial statement -- "Everybody knows that Jacob/Sharon and Ryan/Jen were two pre-existing relationships in the Big Brother house, but there is a third pre-existing relationship still in the house" -- was considered "fact" due to the guinea pigs knowing each other prior to entering. [ Fact or Fiction?] "CBS official site" Retrieved 2008-04-17] Many fans considered this question unfair due to the fact that the guinea pigs are not actual players and just house pets. While many other fans considered the statement not only unfair but deceptive on the part of "Big Brother" producers as the relationship between guinea pigs is not equivalent or comparable to players of the game. If the question had pertained to only human relationships, Sharon would have become the new Head of Household. Ryan won, however, and Sharon ended up being evicted that week.

= Big Brother 10 =

"Big Brother 10" came under fire from critics such as the Parents Television Council for airing the word "fucking" uncensored during the Tuesday, August 5 episode of the show. The event in question was aired during an argument between Libra and Jessie in which Libra said: "Memphis was in the fucking room!". [cite news|first= |last= |title=CBS’s ‘Big Brother’ Drops an F-Bomb on Families |url=|publisher="Parents Television Council"|date=2008-08-06|accessdate=2008-08-09]

Other media


A 9-disc set from the third season of the show, in its entirety as well as edits, have been released on Region 1 DVD. A supplementary included is the house guests' original casting tapes. These casting tapes are taken from preliminary interviews rather than the tapes that the house guests sent in. All episodes on this DVD were the actual edited broadcast versions.

A 2-disc Highlights set from the fourth season has also been released. With the release of the fourth season highlights, the clips would show un-aired footage, ostensibly racier than what CBS would allow to air.


Virtual Me is a new digital entertainment concept that bridges the divide between traditional TV and videogames is being developed by Electronic Arts that will allow people to play games based on Mediaset game shows. [cite web|url=|title=EA and Endemol Announce Creative Partnership for Virtual Me|accessdate=2007-09-04]

Online Games

Tengaged is an online multiplayer game based on Big Brother that allow people to play against other users in a virtual house. The game duration is 7 days and evictions occur each day. [cite web|url=|title=Tengaged, a Big Brother online multiplayer game|accessdate=2008-03-15]


ee also

*Big Brother (TV series)
*Big Brother (UK)
*List of Big Brother (US) HouseGuests

External links

* [ "Big Brother"]

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