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What is Big Brother? A look at the CBS hit reality competition show ahead of BB23 cast announcement

A Big Brother Challenge
Fans have enjoyed Big Brother for more than 20 years. Pic credit: CBS

Big Brother is a reality competition show that has been airing on CBS since the summer of 2000. Some fans have called it a version of MTV’s The Real World with competitions and a cash prize that is thrown into the mix.

The show has been a ratings hit for CBS and each summer a new group of houseguests is invited to play the game. The success of the show also led to an online spin-off called Big Brother: Over The Top and a winter version called Celebrity Big Brother.

Every single season has been hosted by Julie Chen Moonves, who has become very well-known for her work on the show. She has also stated that she will be returning for the Big Brother 23 season in the summer of 2021.

During the offseason for the show, producers, the casting director, and a team of people work to put together a cast for the following summer. Applications are always open on the CBS website; and for a typical season, there are also in-person interviews that take place.

How does Big Brother work?

Each season, a group of houseguests is put inside the Big Brother house. The goal is to stay in the house until the very end of the season. And nearly every week, someone is evicted from the house by a vote from the houseguests. At times, there are two or three people sent packing on the same night.

One of the challenges of the game is to co-exist with a group of other people in, what always ends up being, a very confined space. While the house can seem big, people are sharing one kitchen, two bathrooms, and co-ed bedrooms that always end up leading to dramatic confrontations.

When there are just two people left standing in the house, a jury of competitors who have been evicted from the house then vote on the Big Brother winner. The winner leaves the game with a $500,000 prize, while the runner-up takes home a nice $50,000.

The jury is usually made up of the last nine people to get evicted from the game. When the jury starts forming, they are sent to live in a mansion (sequestered) until the season finale where they return to make that decisive vote.

How do people get evicted on Big Brother?

Each week, a Head of Household Competition takes place in the game. The winner becomes the Head of Household and they then nominate two people for eviction, putting them on what is known as “the block”. A Veto Competition is then held later in the week that gives the winner a Power of Veto necklace. The Veto winner can then save someone from the block, forcing the HOH to name a new nominee.

Once the two nominees have been set in stone, an Eviction Ceremony takes place and someone is voted out of the game. There have been twists where three nominees were in place, where people could change the nominees, or where the HOH was replaced, but it is typically a formulaic week from start to finish.

How many people are on the Big Brother cast?

Most Big Brother casts have had 16 competitors playing the game. This allows for a summer season that lasts around 100 days and gives Big Brother fans a lot to watch through the entire summer.

There are also Big Brother live feeds online, where fans can watch what is going on inside the house and learn what is taking place outside of the three episodes shown on CBS each week.

Big Brother 23 coming soon

A new season of Big Brother has already been ordered by CBS. It was recently revealed that they are looking for more applicants, and fans still have time to apply to be on the BB23 cast.

We expect the Big Brother 2021 season premiere to air in late June. And we expect the BB23 cast announcement to come in early June.

Big Brother is currently on hiatus at CBS.

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