CBS reveals 'Big Brother 4's "X Factor" twist -- the surprise inclusion of four ex-couples as housemates
By Reality TV World staff, 06/30/2003
CBS today revealed the details of its much promoted mysterious Big Brother 4 "twist". The "twist" (some others might call it "jumping the shark") is that soon after entering the "Big Brother" house, four unsuspecting housemates will be stunned when it is revealed that their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend (thus the "X") will also be joining the house as participating and competing houseguests. The twist means that eight of the 13 houseguests (four couples) will be living with someone they thought was out of their lives. Will alliances form between the former couples or will old wounds be opened? Will romances be rekindled or will new ones arise?
"No reality show has ever done what we're about to do,” said Executive Producer Arnold Shapiro. "We have no idea what's going to happen," said Shapiro. "We just know eight people -- four ex-couples -- are going to get the surprise of their lives. About anything you can imagine might happen, might indeed happen." “The result is unpredictable. The only certainty is that everyone involved will be shocked and will likely have to re-think their strategy.” Added Executive Producer Allison Grodner, “This new concept will bring added drama and conflict to the house and will evoke emotions that everyone can relate to -- the fear, excitement or anxiety of being reunited with a former flame.”
Three single men and two single women will also be part of the mix. According to Zap2It.com, they'll enter the house first along with half of each of the former couples; the exes will then join them later in the premiere. The players have already been sequestered, so none of them know about the twist. None of the four couples were married or had children, although some did live together for a time. The reasons they broke up, and the lingering feelings, are different in each case. "Some broke it off on good terms. Some actually might want to be reunited," Grodner says. "And some [breakups] aren't as happy as the others." At least one is in the never-want-to-see-you-again category.
The identities of the contestants, who range in age from 19 to 59, will be introduced Thursday, July 3, 2003 on CBS' web site and the pages of Entertainment Weekly. Julie Chen once again returns as series host. Last season's big new element, the veto, will also remain this season, however a new wrinkle will also be present.
Following the premiere of "Big Brother 4" on Tuesday, July 8, it will also be broadcast on Wednesdays (9:00-10:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT), beginning July 9 and Fridays (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT), starting July 11. The Wednesday editions will feature the live eviction of one of the houseguests. The first eviction will be on Wednesday, July 16.
"Big Brother 4" follows a group of people living together in a house outfitted with dozens of cameras and microphones recording their every move, 24 hours a day. One by one, the houseguests will vote each other out of the house. At the end of three months, the last remaining houseguest will receive the grand prize of $500,000.
Arnold Shapiro has produced 19 television series, five television movies and more than 50 primetime reality specials, including "Rescue 911" and "Break the Silence: Kids Against Child Abuse," both on the Network, "Flipped," "Scared Straight!," the "Teen Files" series and the current series "The Family." Among the 150 awards he has received are an Academy Award (for the documentary "Scared Straight!"), 16 Emmys, a Peabody and three Humanitas Prizes.
Allison Grodner has worked in documentary and reality-based programming for the past 15 years, starting as part of the original producing and directing team with Shapiro on "Rescue 911." Her other credits include "Family Business," "Flipped," "Small Town Ecstasy," "Dear Santa," the "Teen Files" series, for which she and Shapiro have won three Emmy Awards, "Real Romance," "A Wedding Story" and "Animal Stories." She was executive producer, with Shapiro, of "The Family."
Executive Producer Jon Kroll returns to Big Brother for a third season. He also serves as Co-Executive Producer of “The Amazing Race” for the Network. He previously was executive producer of “From Star Wars to Star Wars: The Story of Industrial Light & Magic” and directed and produced such shows as “Movie Magic,” “The Clone Age,” “Hypernauts,” “Masters of Fantasy” and “Exploring the Unknown.” He directed the virtual reality thriller “Menno's Mind” and wrote and directed the comedy “Amanda & the Alien.”
"Big Brother 4," which was created by John de Mol, is an Arnold Shapiro and Allison Grodner Production, in association with Endemol U.S.A.