“Expect the unexpected.” This year the CBS reality competition Big Brother is living up to its tagline, or is it? Today, it has been announced that CBS will be premiering the upcoming Season 25 a month later than usual on August 2, as insurance should the WGA Strike continue much longer.
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Big Brother has been a staple of CBS’s summer programming since it first premiered in 2000. The series follows a group of strangers that move into a house together to compete in challenges and vote each other out, all in an effort to win a cash prize. They do this all while viewers can watch them on a 24/7 live feed. The live feed then gets edited and aired three nights a week on CBS. Each season typically lasts from early July to late September.
In the twenty-four seasons of the mainline series, only two seasons have premiered at some time other than early July. Ironically, the first time was in 2008 when Season 9 started in February due to a lack of scripted programming because of the 2007-2008 WGA Strike. The second was in 2020 for Season 22, which began in August due to COVID. This likely means that Season 25 will last until late October, giving CBS an extra month of programming in the Fall.
Why Is CBS Delaying Big Brother?
CBS has made this decision in reaction to the current WGA Strike. There is currently no end to the strike in sight. So, the filming of CBS’s usual scripted fall programming will likely get affected, if not completely canceled, and networks will have no new scripted content to air. This leaves networks like CBS with the option of either airing reality programs or reruns. Airing reality shows is apparently one way to fill airtime without paying writers the fair wages they are asking for. More information about the WGA Strike can be found here.
CBS seems to be committing to the reality show solution. In response to the strike, the network has already announced that their fall season will see “super-sized” episodes of other reality competitions Survivor and The Amazing Race. They also have more reality shows like Season 2 of The Challenge: USA and Season 3 of Secret Celebrity Renovation ready to go late this summer and early fall alongside Big Brother to fill airtime. Big Brother will premiere Season 25 on August 2 on CBS.