When Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President of Content at Shaw Media, promised advertisers and journalists yesterday at the Shaw Upfront presentation that she’d be making an even bigger announcement than last year’s RHOV news, she wasn’t kidding. Big Brother is finally coming to Canada.
The American version of the global franchise has been a big hit on Canada and for Global, since it began in the summer of 2000, with the 14th season set to premiere this July 12th. Canadians have longed to either have a Canadian version or even to just be allowed to participate in the CBS version.
Williams announced that Shaw had reached a deal with Endemol to launch the first-ever Canadian edition of a worldwide phenomenon that has aired in 25 formats across 87 countries. Insight Productions will co-produce the series that will air on Slice in 2013.
The format will be similar to the U.S. edition, a diverse group of competitive individuals will be chosen to live in the Big Brother house, which will be outfitted wall to wall with cameras and microphones to capture the house guests’ every move. Each week, the houseguests will compete in a series of challenges and will vote each other out until there’s one houseguest left to take home the grand prize. It’ll air three days a week, along with a live stream. But…there’s a twist. Big Brother Canada will allow for viewers to interact with the show through social engagement opportunities that will impact decisions in the house.
Casting deals will be revealed at a later date. No word yet on who’ll be the host, but I’ve suggested on more than one occasion that Entertainment Tonight Canada’s Cheryl Hickey would be a wonderful choice. It would be great corporate synergy for Shaw to allow Hickey to host the weekly live eviction episode as she could also do the exit interview on ET Canada, just like how U.S. host Julie Chen would interview the exiting houseguests on CBS’ The Early Show.