Big Brother host Julie Chen announced on Thursday night's episode of the show's nineteenth season that CBS will air its first-ever celebrity edition of the long-running reality series this winter.
This is big news for America considering the U.K. debuted Celebrity Big Brother all the way back in 2001 and currently airs short seasons twice a year.
According to CBS, the upcoming celebrityBig Brother season will feature multiple episodes per week during a concentrated run and include the show's signature Head of Household and Power of Veto competitions, as well as live-eviction episodes. Julie Chen will be hosting the spinoff.
CBS All Access, the CBS Television Network's subscription video on demand and live-streaming service, will also share all of the action from inside the house via its 24/7 live feed. Pop TV will also continue airingBig Brother After Dark to provide fans an unfiltered late-night feed.
Additional details regarding scheduling and casting of celebrity Big Brother will be announced at a later date.
The celebrity edition of the series will not affect Big Brother's usual summer broadcast schedule, as the series' milestone 20th edition will still air in Summer 2018.
"Big Brother has been dominating pop culture throughout its 19 seasons, and it is exciting to grow the franchise with the first-ever celebrity edition in the U.S.," executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan said in a statement.
"Celebrities will be under the watchful eye of the Big Brother cameras, facing the classic game elements, and of course new twists in this special winter event."
Julie revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she had a conversation with her husband and CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves, about adding a U.S. celebrity version of Big Brother, and admitted the network has considered the idea since Season 2 of Big Brother, however things never came together.
"[Leslie] said, 'You and your show are single-handedly keeping this network afloat during the summer. You're keeping this network running.' If you know one thing about my husband, it has to make economic sense. They crunched the numbers and said, 'Based on the following we have, we can do it and make it work and make it profitable,'" Julie explained.
Julie verified Big Brother's celebrity season will be "a condensed version" of the show (Celebrity Big Brother's U.K. edition typically lasts about four weeks) because it's nearly impossible to find celebrities who would be willing to dedicate 90 days or more to a reality show.
Julie then shared her expectations for the first celebrity cast of Big Brother, which may or may not include memorable former houseguests from the series' 19 previous seasons.
"We're being realistic. It's not going to be all Oscar winners. But maybe we'll have someone who won an Oscar decades ago," Julie told The Reporter.
"Whoever casts Dancing with the Stars does an amazing job. They don't always get all household names, but some people kind of reinvent themselves and suddenly I see that person all over the tabloids. Sometimes these types of shows, like in the U.K. [version], some of the washed-up names that went into it got a new lease on life."
Julie added, "And the big names that went in, it was a little bit too up close and personal. Those people did themselves in with letting the public see who they really are... There's no privacy and that's going to be a hurdle in getting a celebrity onboard."
Casting is reportedly already underway and the official title of the celebrity spinoff will be announced in the near future.