"Yep, the rumors are TRUE! We're coming back a little earlier this year... apply now!" Big Brother casting director Robyn Kass posted on her MySpace blog late last week.
While CBS has not responded to multiple messages seeking confirmation of Kass' statement, the network has begun accepting applications and announced dates and locations for a 15-city Big Brother 9 casting tour that will take place between November 17 and December 8.
The announcement of a casting tour presumably means that despite recent reports that the network was considering the option, Big Brother's strike-programming installment won't be a celebrity edition -- a long-rumored concept that CBS president and CEO Les Moonves first suggested in 2002, a year after the U.K. begun airing its annual Celebrity Big Brother installments in 2001.
Although the Big Brother 9 application available on CBS.com includes eligibility requirements, the document does not specify any of the tentative interview process and production schedule date ranges that the network's reality show applications typically include, presumably due to the uncertainty surrounding the strike.
The WGA's last strike occurred in 1988 and lasted 22 weeks.
The dates, locations and venues for Big Brother 9 open casting calls are:
Saturday, November 17 WLTX-TV Studios 6027 Garners Ferry Road Columbia, SC 10AM to 2PM
Saturday November 17 Exclusive Casting Studios 7700 Sunset Blvd Ste. 200 Los Angeles, CA 90046 12PM to 3PM
Sunday, November 18 NY Castings 243 W. 30th St., 3rd Floor (Between 7th and 8th Ave.) New York, NY 12PM to 8PM
Saturday December 1 Ontourage 157 W. Ontario St. Chicago, IL 60610 10PM to 12AM
Saturday, December 1 Duff's Brooklyn N. 3rd St. & Kent Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11211 7PM to 10PM
Saturday December 1 Screenland Crossroads Theater 1656 Washington St. Kansas City, MO 64108 1PM to 4PM
Saturday December 1 Cans 500 W. 5th St. Charlotte, NC. 28202 12PM to 3PM
Saturday December 1 The Streets of Tanasbourne 19350 NW Emma Way Hillsboro, OR 97124 12PM to 3PM
Saturday, December 1 America's Mart 1st Floor Meeting Room A 240 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA. 30303 12PM to 3PM
Friday December 7 SPICE Bar 491 N. Park St. Columbus, OH 43215 10PM to 12AM
Friday December 7 Suede Lounge 7333 E. Indian Plaza Scottsdale, AZ 85251 12PM to 3PM
Saturday, December 8 Felt 533 Washington St. (3rd & 4th Floor) Boston, MA 02111 12PM to 3PM
Saturday December 8 FlatIron Crossing 1 West FlatIron Crossing Dr. Broomfield, CO 80021 In the Dillard's Court 10AM to 1PM
Saturday, December 8 Park Street Patio 533 Park St. Columbus, OH 2PM to 5PM
Saturday December 8 The Dubliner Irish Pub 2307 W. Azeele St. Tampa, FL. 33609 12PM to 3PM