Although the decision comes as little surprise, CBS has announced that it has formally renewed Big Brother for a seventh season.
While CBS had signed a deal to extend the long-running summer reality series for up to three more seasons back in Fall 2003, this marks the show's quickest next season pickup. "This is the earliest we've gotten a renewal," Big Brother executive producer Arnold Shapiro told Daily Variety.
Shapiro and fellow executive producer Allison Grodner will both return for next summer's Big Brother 7, as will Julie Chen, who despite frequent viewer criticism, has hosted the series since its initial Summer 2000 edition (if Chen didn't get booted off the show before she had an affair with and later married 56-year-old CBS President Les Moonves, she certainly isn't going anywhere now.)
According to Grodner, the earlier pickup decision will give the production team a leg up on planning next season's twists and surprises. "This gives us a lot more time to plan for and work on Big Brother 7," Grodner told Variety. "Once you use an idea, you can't use it again," Shapiro added.
The Hollywood paper also asked the producers about the long-running rumors that Big Brother might follow in Survivor's footsteps and do an All-Star edition of its own, but the duo wouldn't comment on the possibility, noting only that continual change has been key to the show's longevity. "There are still things we can do to surprise the audience," teased Grodner.