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« Big Brother Gossip Show #312: Season Finale | Main | The Night Owl »
Saturday
Sep142013

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Last week, it was announced that David Goldberg, the head of the North American branch of Endemol, will be stepping down later this year. Endemol is the production company that owns Big Brother, and word is that he’s not the only person affiliated with the show that will not be a part of next season.

Yes, it seems that the wishes of a lot of hardcore fans may be coming true, as there are tons of rumors that Big Brother executive producer Allison Grodner and casting director Robyn Kass will also be let go. Finally!

The real question, however, if these rumors are true is how much will the show actually change? The gut reaction from most hardcore seem to believe that the entire format will be gutted, but I doubt that this will be the case. Certain aspects will be tweaked, and it’s probably safe to say that Grodner’s favorite pets (Jesse, Jeff/Jordan, the Reilly family) will finally be taken off the Rolodex, but there’s no way that the show will suddenly ape the formats of other countries.

What I’d like to see is a format that isn’t so reliant on competitions. In fact, let’s just get rid of most of them altogether. Completely scrap the have/have-not silliness. Let the entire house vote on nominations, and make that the prime focus of Sunday’s episode. Keep the veto competition, and allow the winner to not only save a nominee but also put up a replacement for Wednesday’s show. As much as I don’t trust the American public to vote, I can see giving them the power to decide who they want to save for the Thursday eviction episode.

Let’s also revamp the diary room. Currently, it’s only used for narration purposes, and their semi-scripted, catchphrase-dependent commentary is getting more embarrassing every year. Is there really any purpose to hear the usual “xxxx just can’t win the most important HOH of the year” silliness?

I want the diary room to be more honest about what’s going on, and more timely. If two people have a disagreement, show them going to the diary room to talk to “Big Brother”. The public can handle chats that are longer than a couple of sentences to describe their thoughts about what just happened.

My ideas for casting is pretty easy. This may be a bit shocking to most critics of this season, but they were on the correct path this year. Either have an entirely new cast, or nothing but returnees. No mixing! No stunt casting of a relative, especially if tied to a public vote that gives them an unfair advantage. If “All-Stars” is the plan for next year, do so in an interesting matter. Why not something like people who never made jury? Or favorites versus villains?

As for twists, I have to say again that outside of the stunt casting they did a pretty good job this year. The MVP twist could have been great if Elissa didn’t have that advantage the first two weeks, and the lack of Pandora/DPOV added some legitimacy to what happened in the later parts of the series. You can’t have these types of gimmicks just to save a Grodner/fanbase favorite. Just because a favorite player was evicted, or there is unhappiness with the final three, is not a valid reason for a twist that questions the credibility of the show.

These are just a few of my thoughts about next season. What about you? Do you want some changes for next year? Share some ideas!

References (1)

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Reader Comments (38)

I like your new ideas, perhaps some old ones would have workrd better if tweaked. Like the MVP, I think it was okay for America to vote, but a HG should not hane been allowed to win consecutively like HOH. Also team systems like Survivor in the early stages of the game, with the winning team nominating and the losing team evicting. You could run this to the jury level and then go individually. Just a thought...
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermrmike307
Older folks 40-65
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGg1227
Wow! Those are Awesome ideas! I love them all! It really is time for changes! I can add... enough of the recycled houseguests. There really isn't anyone I would like to see again, especially the Reilly's! It just isn't fair.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterheidej
Making the show less dependent on competitions would bode well for a wider variety of ages, ggbernard. I agree with that.
September 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott
Great post, Scott. I just finished watching BB Australia 2012. Hadn't ever watched anything other than BB USA. If there is a shake up next year, maybe we could steal some of Australia's ideas to make our BB even better!
I liked the idea that the Australia HGs had to make their own bread each day, and they were all "have nots" together if they didn't successfully complete the weekly challenge. BB Australia is clever controlling the hot water supply....... gets the HGs up and moving each day!. And I liked Big Brother conversing with the HGS s in the diary room. I like the way BB Australia included the family members a bit more in the episodes and also gave them a pet dog!
That said, I wouldn't like the viewing audience to have a vote for eviction, because there would be so much importance on how the edits are aired. Case in point, the Austrailian House mates (as they call them) "played" to the camera, hoping to gain votes, and that was irritating.
I actually like all the competitions on BB USA, and would hate to see those segments disappear. I would like to see longer exit interviews. I also agree....either all new cast members or only all stars. Don't mix them!
Sad to see the end of BB #15. It was a fun summer, and I am already looking forward to next year, but until then, think I will YouTube some past seasons of BB Australia and see if it grows on me even more.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindi4444
Like your ideas, would have to add older contestants and I don't think I'm alone when I say take BBAD back to Showtime! I'd rather pay for Showtime than listen to half a conversation because everything is bleeped. Go back to "unscripted" BBAD, it was way more interesting!
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam
I like a lot of the ideas, although I have to notice that many of them pretty much describe BB1/early BB's. Less competition based, America voting to evict, everyone voting for nominations, and no have-not competitions (there was food comps but not to the level that they have developed to now). I do love the idea that veto holder gets to take down AND put up a replacement though. It makes it more apealing and the replacement nominee won't be so predictable. I think the show is due for a switch up, I'm not saying it will be as drastic as making all the changes this post listed, but taking an idea or two wouldn't hurt!
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMe
I agree that somethings have to change. CBS did a poor job this season. Need more checking out the views of the hgs. Was disgusting how much hate was shown this season.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJudi
Just an example, I wish bb would screen about 50 people and then post their info and let us vote who we would like to see in the bb house. Another suggestion is stop shutting down the feeds so often. Let us see end of comps and diary sessions. Allow us more choice in choosing the camera on live feeds.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbb changes
I would also like to see some changes. Example, BB should make the HG's get up out of bed at a certain time each day. More choices on the cameras for live feeds. There are 4 cameras but we only have a choice between two of them and at time no choice at all. I dont think I would like to see America having the choice of evicting the HG's that happened the first year of BB USA and it totally sucked.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
PUNISHMENTS: I want REAL and MEANINGFUL punishments when they talk about production or sing songs necessitating fishies. Give 'em REAL punishments and maybe, just maybe, they'll figure out how to avoid mentioning those things entirely. Make them clean the house or a room in the house, or "ground" them to a particular room for the day, make them do calisthenics, duct tape their mouth closed or give 'em a penalty nomination. SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to get the point across to the houseguests.

CHORES: On that same side, there should be a chore chart and houseguests should be expected to clean up after themselves. Those who don't do their chores should be punished (see above).

NO RETURNEES. EVER. Not even an All-Stars. Remember how the last all-stars they spent all the time figuring out what they were going to sell on eBay and how they were going to maximize their exposure. It was lame. Give me an entirely new cast with no connections to former houseguests.

COMPETITIONS: Let feed viewers see ALL competitions. Maybe we could pay a little more for competition access?

JURY HOUSE: I want a camera on the jury house also. 24/7. I would have paid more to see the jury house end-of-season this year than the BB house.

BLOGS: Have ALL the houseguests post blog entries each week - not just HOH.

For every four houseguests evicted, one can earn the right to get back in the house. This will keep the guests hopping AND extend the season. With this in place, we could have more double-evictions as well.

UNPREDICTIBLE: Expect the unexpected has resulted in boring predictibility. There is very little fun in a double-eviction that has been talked about by the houseguests for days because they figured it out. Put the double-evictions in surprising places. As soon as person wins HOH that person should immediately be separated from the rest of the houseguests and should not have their input for nominations.

NO MORE GIMMICKS: Pandora's box, Coup d'Etat and other gimmicks that look like obvious production tools to help a particular favorite player - need to end. Glad to see they weren't resurrected this year.

CASTING: Knock it off with token players. Want to see REAL diversity. Make the white players the minority. Want at least TWO gay guys and TWO gay gals or maybe an entire house of BISEXUALS so that maybe, just maybe, America can see a gay showmance for a change.

GLASSHOUSE: One guest was chosen to receive a message each week by the viewers. This message could help the houseguest flip things or protect themselves if need be. This would be much better than voting for what food the houseguests will be restricted to eating.

WED/THURS shows suck being back to back, and then it drags between. Go back to Sunday / Tuesday / Thursday.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterobjkshn
After the season they've had and Julie's declaration that they have all dealt with the impact of things said inside the house for far too many hours, my concern is about the feeds. The announcement about BB16 mentioned After Dark on TVGN but nothing about live feeds.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElaineNCarolina
I like any change that keeps the most interesting & entertaining players in the game longer. The trick is finding a way to do this in a fair manner without resorting to obvious production tricks that are inherently unfair to the other players. Everybody should understand that the purpose of the show in the first place is to create something that's entertaining enough that people will watch it and advertisers will spend there money. As it stands now the current format allows for way too many players who either fly under the radar or who just happen to be liked by the other HG's to make it to the end. Anybody who sticks there neck out or is seen as a threat is immediately targeted. So by the end all we have left is absolute boors who found a way to stay in the game long enough so they can band together and get out the few remaining real game players. This is particularly true this season given who made it to the final three. Just look at who we have to choose from. Spencer the oaf who's only entertainment value was laughing at him for saying some of the most disgusting and degrading things I've ever heard a male HG say about his female competitors. I highly doubt that he's someone who the producers want to put on a pedestal as a representative of there product. Gina Marie, who's probably the most entertaining of the three but who also happens to be the most uncultured hot mess of the season. Again, not somebody I would want representing my product. And Andy who defiantly had the best social game because he managed to position himself well throughout the game. Based on gameplay alone Andy should probably win it but the simple fact is that I personally didn't find him the least bit entertaining. As a matter of fact throughout most of the season I found him to be irritating and annoying, not so much so that I hate him but enough so that if he does win I'm going to feel cheated. On a side note, that's exactly the same way I felt about Ian's win last year. On entertainment value alone I would much rather see GM win it but I wouldn't feel good about it because she's a disgusting pig. In any event I think production needs to find a way to change the game up so that the choice of who stays or goes isn't exclusively in there hands. I'm not sure how to accomplish that fairly because I I certainly don't want production making those choices and like you I have little or no faith in the American voter. However, if it was a PAID per vote 'To Save' like BBAU & BBUK it might work.

Either way I'm looking forward to listening to tonight final BBG podcast and hope this it a topic of discussion because I'd like to hear Mike and Lala's thoughts on he subject.

Thanks again for all you guys do to make the big brother season entertaining for for all of us.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMunclejim
The idea of a jury cam is better than what we'd actually get. Their game is over. That vignette we saw on Thursday were production set ups for the broadcast. You really believe they just happened to be all sitting outside when the limo showed up with Judd? From what we've heard, they've had a peaceful, low-key time outside of what was shot for TV.
September 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterScott
Instead of the evicted houseguests leaving the house and going to jury, why not keep them in the house? They cannot compete in the competitions, or win any of the luxury prizes but they can still scheme and backstab, and help a fellow HG make it to the end. It would sure keep the excitement level high in the game!
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrsWindy
Instead of the evicted houseguests leaving the house and going to jury, why not keep them in the house? They cannot compete in the competitions, or win any of the luxury prizes but they can still scheme and backstab, and help a fellow HG make it to the end. It would sure keep the excitement level high in the game!
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrsWindy
Instead of the evicted houseguests leaving the house and going to jury, why not keep them in the house? They cannot compete in the competitions, or win any of the luxury prizes but they can still scheme and backstab, and help a fellow HG make it to the end. It would sure keep the excitement level high in the game!
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMrsWindy
How about a celebrity cast instead of an all star. The winner then donates winnings to the charity of their choice.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNikki
Have the house guest do some thing for god's sake. Make that be an integral part of the game. Build something, growth something, clean something, draw something, paint something, write something, but do something!!! At least we could hear different conversations instead of the same ones over and over because they are so bored.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterllluna
So many people go up as "pawns," especially for double evivtions. What if they spring the double eviction with a twist? Before they tell them it is a double eviction, let them put up who is decided. Then tell them it is a double eviction...the twist???? BOTH PEOPLE SEATED GO HOME, right then and there!!! Now that will surprise them and make them think twice about being a pawn!!! No one's safe.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie
I don't like American involved in any kind of voting it is always a popularity contest with that. Also they need to stop casting want to be actors, pageant girls, etc. stop recruiting stereo types. Cast real people who know the game and have at least seen a season or 2. I would like to see a season of super fans i.e. live feeders. And if I ever see a Riley or Jeff on my screen again it will be too soon as Helen would say. Now get this podcast going I am bored the feeds have been dead since Amanda left lol. (football sucks just saying)
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpam
I agree with just about everything in the original post, and as I've only skimmed the great replies so far, I've picked three things on which to elaborate:

Casting: Several people suggest older contestants. I think that what people really want are contestants who are more sophisticated game players. That often means older/wiser, but not necessarily. Will Kirby succeeded because he understood his competitors better than they understood him, each other, or themselves. BB's stereotype, and hottie-heavy casting means that ability to actually play BB in new ways is bred out of the HG species. Even the preference for dramatic people, which gives great feeds, tends to lead to HGs who make terrible decisions in the game, and who play in incredibly personal ways. Example: I'm sick of the rap on women contestants that they are emotional, and can't play or vote without personal feelings involved. Look who gets cast and why? How many 23-year-old models do you know who have their head "in the game" in the way that would be needed to win it? The range of male contestants, in terms of education, attractiveness, and walks of life is much broader for men than it is for women. That sucks to watch, year after year. I say raise the grand prize, and perhaps make the game shorter, to encourage people (men and women) with real lives to apply. Then cast for the ability to persuade, manipulate, charm, scheme, etc. Being a psychology major or a public speaker teacher does NOT make you a good BB player. It's not what your resume says; it's whether you can interact as a game player.

Voting: I LOVE the BBAU approach of voting to save, rather than evict contestants, The public gets to support its favorites, thus keeping them in the game longer, and helping ratings. But the HGs must keep themselves in good standing in the house, or they get nominated.

Scripting/Format/Editing: The CBS shows are really hard to watch. The format of each episode is deadly rigid. The diary room segments are beyond scripted. The degree to which the vocabulary of every HG is shaped, both inside and outside the diary room is maddening. STOP IT NOW. The rigidity of the show, as much as anything else, leads to cries that the thing is rigged. Even if it isn't, it feels as if it is at least part of the time.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleopardgrrl1
The biggest change I would like to see is a cleaner house. Never in my life could I imagine living like this crew of HG's has. Someone earlier metioned a "Chore Chart" - great idea or those that do not complete their "chores" are the "Have Not's" and eat slop. I too like the idea of a punishment for blatant defiance to stop talking about production or singing. I hate watching the fish! BB should also consider ways to make the house more interesting when there are only a few players left. They are bored and the live feeders are bored. What about a makeover day right before the final week? Lord knows the three left could use it!
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterUpstateNYLady
Seriously, CBS needs to find contestants that can speak the English language without using the "F" bomb all the time! The racism and misogyny this year was also inexcusable! The senario between Amanda and slacker McCrae was more like a cheap hook-up than a friendly bromance. How about some more mature and classy people?
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJode
My punishment idea would be to have a cage-like prison where they get to put any HG who is the biggest slob, trashtalker, comp thrower, annoyance, non-dish-doer whatever! They hate not being able to talk game, and not being able to go to the storage room or HOH to talk secretly. This person would not be able to secretly do anything, but on the other hand, would see what everyone else is doing...because it would be an open structure with just bars...and they could be placed in irons to be taken to the toilet by last time's prisoner. The house would be less of a pig sty as they struggle not to be voted into prison. It would be funny, entertaining, and serve a purpose. Do it after the pov ceremony, on days nothing else happens.

As for racism, they need to be thrown out. Period. The reason it's not tolerated in Britain is because the nazis bombed them for 4 or 5 years. They know you don't tolerate such things--they grow into public acceptance as decades pass.

I want to see 1 or 2 people who are actually OLD, not 37 yr old toddler moms, tho they are welcome too. I loved Renny, hated Jerry, and loved Gerry. Liked Chicken George but not his wife or Karen... Liked Jack, not Kent! Do I remember all the 22 yr olds? Nope.
September 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercyninbend

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