CBS' 'Big Brother 8' to debut July 5, add new 'After Dark' spinoff show
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 06/11/2007
Big Brother will be even more omnipresent than usual this summer. The long-running reality show's three-nights-a-week CBS broadcast schedule and live 24/7 Internet feeds will now be accompanied by a live feed that will air nightly on one of CBS' cable subsidiaries.
CBS has announced that Big Brother 8 -- which will once again be hosted by Julie Chen, the CBS news anchor who has hosted all eight seasons of the show -- will premiere Thursday, July 5 at 8PM ET/PT, with its Sunday and Tuesday editions scheduled to debut on Sunday, July 8 at 8PM ET/PT and Tuesday, July 10 at 9PM ET/PT.
Except for the Tuesday night episodes -- which aired at 8PM ET/PT instead of 9PM ET/PT last season -- Big Brother 8's broadcasting schedule will be the same as the one last summer's Big Brother 7: All-Stars followed.
However in addition to airing thrice weekly on CBS, Big Brother 8 will also feature a live feed that will broadcast nightly on Showtime Too, a secondary channel of Showtime, the pay cable network that became a CBS Corporation subsidiary when CBS split from Viacom in 2005.
Titled Big Brother: After Dark, the spinoff will air nightly from 12AM to 3AM ET and feature footage from the same live camera feeds that are made available to subscribers of the show's 24/7 live Internet feeds. Given the Big Brother house is in Los Angeles, that means After Dark -- which will debut July 5, the same night as the show's CBS premiere -- will feature live coverage of the house's 9PM and 12AM PT happenings.
"That's primetime for the Big Brother house," executive producer Allison Grodner told DailyVariety. "It's when our houseguests are most wide awake and having fun, talking about strategy and playing the game."
Similar to the manner in which Big Brother's production staff determines which of the house's dozens of camera feeds comprise the four feeds that that are made available for live Internet viewing, a producer will reportedly determine which camera feed is broadcast on Showtime Too's After Dark.
Although After Dark's feed will be interrupted if the houseguests "say anything slanderous or that violates music copyrights," according to Variety, the fact that the Big Brother footage will be airing on Showtime -- a cable network that's not subject to FCC restrictions -- means that profanity and nudity will be broadcast.
"People are going to see quite a bit," Grodner told Variety.
In addition to its new After Dark spin-off and return of the show's traditional live Internet feeds offering, Big Brother's eighth season will also feature the return of Big Brother Mobile Pack, wireless phone subscription package that debuted last season; House Calls, the Gretchen Massey-hosted Big Brother Internet talk show that CBS.com debuted during the show's fifth season in 2004; and the "Head of Household Blog" that CBS.com debuted last season. Like last season, free online viewing of all Big Brother 8's episodes will also be made available on CBS.com and other websites that are part of the network's new CBS Audience Network.
With Big Brother 8 taking over CBS' Thursdays at 8PM ET/PT time period, Pirate Master, Mark Burnett's new reality competition series, will relocate to Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT beginning July 10.