Big Brother

Big Brother (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Big Brother is the American version of the Big Brother reality game show based on the Dutch television series of the same name originally created by John de Mol in 1997. The show follows a group of House Guests living together 24 hours a day in the "Big Brother" house, isolated from the outside world but under constant surveillance with no privacy for three months. Since its debut in 2000, Big Brother US has run continuously with at least one season of the show airing each year. It is currently the second longest running version to have done so, after the Spanish version. On September 19, 2012, CBS announced that Big Brother was renewed for its 15th season in summer 2013. The 15th season will debut on June 26, 2013.

The HouseGuests compete for the chance to win a $500,000 grand prize by avoiding weekly eviction, until the last HouseGuest remains at the end of the season that can claim the $500,000 grand prize. The American series is hosted by television personality Julie Chen. Produced by Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan for Fly On The Wall Entertainment, it currently airs in the United States on CBS and in Canada on Global.

After America's Next Top Model converted to the 1080i high definition format in February 2012, Big Brother is the last American primetime program on the five major English-language networks currently producing in 480i standard definition as of September 2012.

Main series

In all 14 seasons, eviction night has been hosted by veteran television personality and news anchor, Julie Chen, wife of CBS President Les Moonves and co-host of the network's The Talk and formerly co-host of CBS's The Early Show. Television critics gave Chen largely negative reviews during her first season (2000), citing wooden delivery, stilted interaction with the studio audience, weak interviews with evictees on the live programs, and her overuse of the phrase "But first..." This led fans to dub her "the Chenbot," a moniker of which Chen is aware and says she accepts.

The announcer played an active role in the first season introducing every scene, but with the major changes to the program after the initial season, the announcer was relegated to the opening and closing of each episode. There have been several different announcers throughout the years. Past announcers include Dave Walsh (season one and episode 2 of season two), Chuck Riley (season two), and Phil Proctor (seasons 3-6). The current announcer is Clayton Halsey and has been the announcer since season seven.


The format for season one was radically different than in the following seasons. Season one was identical to international versions of Big Brother in which each HouseGuest would individually go to the Diary Room and nominate two fellow HouseGuests for banishment (the term "eviction" was not used until season two). The two or more HouseGuests with the most nominations are then revealed to the House and were "Marked for Banishment," at which point the public were invited to vote for who they wish to evict by calling a premium rate telephone number. The HouseGuest who received the greatest percentage of the public vote was evicted. When there were three HouseGuests left the public would vote for the winner.

Beginning with the second season the HouseGuests compete to become Head of Household or HoH. The Head of Household is responsible for nominating two HouseGuests for eviction. During the Live Eviction show, HouseGuests individually go into the Diary Room (this was taped in early seasons, but beginning with the last few weeks of both seasons 6 and 7, each vote has been done live) and cast their vote to evict. Julie then reveals the results of the vote to the House, and tells the evicted houseguest has only a few moments to leave the house. In the event of a tie the HOH breaks it. When two HouseGuests were left, the evicted HouseGuests voted for the winner and in the event of a tie the public would have broken the tie.

During season three a new power was introduced called the Power of Veto (PoV). The Power of Veto winner can choose to veto one of the Head of Household's initial nominations. When this happens, the HOH chooses someone else to replace that nominee. The winner is also protected from becoming a replacement nominee for the week. Originally, the Power of Veto was silver and if a nominee won the Power of Veto the nominee could not save themselves. The "Golden" Power of Veto, introduced in the last veto competition in season three, could be won by a nominee and used to save themselves. The "Crystal" Power of veto, introduced in the final veto competition of season 4, could only be used by a nominee. If anyone else won it, it could not be used. The Golden Power of Veto is now the standard veto since season four.

The fourth season introduced the Big Brother Jury, referred to as the "Jury of Seven". The Jury is made up of the final seven evicted HouseGuests. As each member of the Jury is evicted from the House they are sequestered in a separate house. The jury members are not allowed to watch the show except for segments which include all of the HouseGuests, for example the nominations and Power of Veto ceremonies. The jury members are not shown any Diary Room interviews or any footage involving strategy or twists to the game. The Big Brother Jury votes to determine the winner of Big Brother each season.

Live show

Live shows have been broadcast on Thursday night in every season, except for the first season, fourth season, ninth seasonand the upcoming 15th season (for the 4th, 9th and 15th seasons the eviction were and will be instead on Wednesday). Later in the season, there will occasionally be live shows on other days when Big Brother is on (for example, during a double eviction week). During the first season, the live show would rotate between a daily recap, the houseguests' live nominations, and live banishments (known as "evictions" since the second season). The first season's live show also featured a studio audience. Occasional guest commentators included Dr. Drew Pinsky, who talked about relationships the houseguests have inside and outside the house, and America Online "Internet Advisor" Regina Lewis, who would talk about what the live feed viewers were saying and show poll results related to events in the house.

From the second season through the ninth season, Julie presented the live show in an empty studio overlooking the house. Highlights are shown during the live show, then a houseguest is evicted and briefly interviewed by Julie. The Head of Household (HoH) competition is held shortly thereafter. For the most part, quizzes determine the next Head of Household due to the show's running time. Endurance competitions do not finish during the live show and are broadcast on the live Internet feeds; the highlights and results of the completed HoH competition are broadcast on the next episode. Starting with the tenth season, the live shows once again had an audience.

Live Internet feeds

Each year CBS has made live streaming Internet video feeds from the Big Brother house available through RealNetworks. The Internet feeds were free during season one but became a subscription service beginning with season two. In order to preserve the drama for television broadcasts, CBS does not webcast certain moments that transpire in the house, including weekly competitions and the nomination/eviction process. Slanderous statements and singing of copyrighted music are also blocked for legal reasons.

Season details

SeasonHouse GuestsDaysWinnerVoteNotes
Big Brother 11088Eddie McGee59%Differed completely from later seasons, where eliminations were called "banishments" instead of "evictions" and occurred via the viewers instead of votes.
Big Brother 21282Will "Dr. Will" Kirby5"2 (6"3)First season to feature the Head of Household (HoH) and in which a HouseGuest, Justin Sebik, was expelled from the game. Also the only season to have nullified votes in the finale.
Big Brother 3Lisa Donahue9"1First season to feature the Power of Veto (PoV) and the only season to have every evicted HouseGuest vote for a winner. Also the first season to have a HouseGuest return to the house, but the HouseGuests voted for who to return, not a public vote.
Big Brother 413Jun Song6"1Featured the "X-Factor", in which five people were joined by ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. Also the first season to feature the "Big Brother Jury", where the last seven evicted HouseGuests voted for who to win. First season to feature the Diamond POV.
Big Brother 514Drew Daniel4"3Featured "Project DNA: Do Not Assume", in which two HouseGuests discovered they were brother and sister, despite having no prior knowledge of each other. Additionally, twins secretly swapped in and out of the house, pretending to be the same person, in a bid to get to play the game individually.
Big Brother 680Maggie Ausburn4"3Billed as "Summer of Secrets", each houseguest began the game with a secret partner who they knew prior to entering the house. The prize money would be increased should one of the pairs make the final two. Additionally, for the first time, the public were able to vote for one player to return to the game after eviction.
Big Brother: All-Stars14 returning contestants72Mike "Boogie" Malin6"1Introduced the "Coup d'"?tat", earning the power to overthrow the HoH and change nominations, and the "Big Brother Slop", which replaced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as the weekly food restriction.
Big Brother 81481"Evel" Dick Donato5"2Featured three nemeses (Dick, Dustin and Jessica), and the addition of "costumes", which would later be used in subsequent seasons. Also the first season to include "America's Player".
Big Brother 916Adam Jasinski6"1Only season to air in the winter as a result of the 2007"2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Also the first season to have the HouseGuests play as couples and the first to have a player walk out of (voluntary quit) the game.
Big Brother 101371Dan Gheesling7"0Noted as a "back to basics" season by both CBS and the production team. As part of the back to basics format, there was no "twist" to the season, live audiences returned for the Thursday eviction shows for the first time since Big Brother 1, and for the first time since Big Brother 3 the HouseGuests were all complete strangers. Second season to have an America's Player. Also the only season to have a unanimous vote winner.
Big Brother 1112 + 1 returning contestant73Jordan Lloyd5"2Featured high school cliques, where an entire clique was safe from eviction if one of their members becomes HoH. First season to feature "Pandora's Box", and to have the American public as a juror due to Chima Simone's expulsion. Second season to feature the "Coup d'"?tat", earning the power to overthrow the HoH and change nominations
Big Brother 121375Hayden Garrett Moss4"3Featured the "Big Brother Saboteur", whose mission was to not win the grand prize, but perform various tasks to disrupt the lives of the other HouseGuests in order to win $50,000. First season to feature the Zingbot 3000. Second season to feature the Diamond POV.
Big Brother 138 + 6 returning contestantsRachel Reilly4"3Featured three "Dynamic Duos" from previous seasons returning to play again. In the early weeks, houseguest's competed and were nominated in pairs, with the surviving houseguest gaining a "Golden Key" which gave them immunity until the final ten. The duos twist was resurrected for a week later in the game.
Big Brother 1412 + 4 returning coachesIan Terry6"1Featured four successful ex-HouseGuests returning to play again to coach this season's HouseGuests, while playing for their own prize of $100,000, awarded to the coach of the winning HouseGuest. One HouseGuest was evicted on the first night of the game by the coach of last-placed team of the first Head of Household competition. At the end of Week 3, America granted the coaches a choice to continue coaching or reset their game. Three coaches voted to reset the game, allowing the coaches to then become full-fledged HouseGuests.
Big Brother 15Will air during summer 2013.

International broadcasts

Two seasons of the American version of Big Brother have aired in the United Kingdom in addition to airing in the United States and Canada. Big Brother 4 aired in the United Kingdom on E4 after the fourth edition of the British version ended. E4 aired the three weekly episodes and live footage from the House. The live footage was a time delay so viewers wouldn't be confused between the episodes and the live footage. Later seasons did not air in the United Kingdom due to conflicts with the British version. E4 announced on February 8, 2008 that Big Brother 9 would air on the channel. The ninth edition of the American edition premiered on February 14, 2008 two days after its American/Canadian premiere. Unlike with Big Brother 4 E4 did not air live footage from the House during Big Brother 9 instead only the three weekly highlight shows were aired. The tenth season didn't air in the United Kingdom due to conflicts with the British version.


Season Episodes Launch Launch
Finale Finale
Duration Average
Big Brother 1 70 July 5, 2000 22.40 September 29, 2000 11.13 88 9.10
Big Brother 2 30 July 5, 2001 8.20 September 20, 2001 12.30 82 7.90
Big Brother 3 32 July 10, 2002 9.20 September 25, 2002 12.94 82 8.70
Big Brother 4 33 July 8, 2003 9.69 September 24, 2003 10.74 82 8.80
Big Brother 5 31 July 6, 2004 9.55 September 21, 2004 10.40 82 8.30
Big Brother 6 29 July 7, 2005 8.47 September 20, 2005 10.50 80 7.24
Big Brother: All-Stars 29 July 6, 2006 7.69 September 12, 2006 8.14 72 7.56
Big Brother 8 33 July 7, 2007 7.40 September 16, 2007 8.51 81 7.52
Big Brother 9 33 February 12, 2008 7.33 April 27, 2008 6.65 81 6.56
Big Brother 10 29 July 13, 2008 6.29 September 16, 2008 7.63 71 6.72
Big Brother 11 30 July 9, 2009 6.59 September 15, 2009 7.78 73 7.19
Big Brother 12 30 July 8, 2010 7.35 September 15, 2010 7.89 75 7.76
Big Brother 13 29 July 7, 2011 7.89 September 14, 2011 7.78 75 7.95
Big Brother 14 30 July 12, 2012 7.18 September 19, 2012 7.39 75 6.79
Big Brother 15 TBD June 26, 2013 TBD TBD TBD TBD TBD


House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show

See House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show for more information House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show was a live Internet talk show hosted by Gretchen Massey and focused on events in the Big Brother house as well as taking phone calls from viewers. The show started in 2004 during Big Brother 5 with Marcellas Reynolds as host/co-host, and became quite popular. House Calls has returned during each season of Big Brother. For Big Brother 9, Massey co-hosted with Big Brother 8 winner "Evel" Dick Donato, runner up Daniele Donato, season two's Bunky and season six/seven Kaysar, Contestants on Big Brother are bound by contract to appear on the webcast the Friday after their live eviction. Evicted sequestered HouseGuests do not appear on the show after their eviction.

The popularity of House Calls has spawned other Internet talk shows, including Survivor Live for Survivor, Finish Line and Elimination Station for The Amazing Race, Talk Model for America's Next Top Model, and various Aftershows on MTV Overdrive for MTV programming.

It was announced before Big Brother 11 premiered July 9, 2009 that House Calls had been canceled, due to the fact the show could not find a sponsor. The evicted BB11 houseguests appeared on Inside Dish with Ross Matthews after their evictions during the 2009 season. There is no direct affiliate to interview the evicted housemates on Big Brother 12 and 13, beginning with the 14th season, Big Brother 11 and 13 contestant Jeff Schroeder interview the evicted houseguests on CBS's website.

Big Brother: After Dark

See Big Brother: After Dark for more information Big Brother: After Dark airs nightly from Midnight to 3:00 a.m. Eastern time (9:00 p.m. to Midnight) on Showtime 2 in the United States (re-airing from Midnight to 3:00 a.m. Pacific time on the West Coast feed of Showtime 2) and on Slice in Canada, and features footage from the same live camera feeds that are made available to subscribers of the shows 24/7 live Internet feeds. The program is the only first-run original program produced specifically for any of Showtime's seven multiplex channels. This program features house activity happening between these times, and is occasionally interrupted for slanderous statements, music copyrights and short promotional breaks for programs airing on the primary Showtime channel or Slice. According to executive producer Allison Grodner, these three hours are entertaining as "That's prime time for the Big Brother house. It's when our HouseGuests are most wide awake and having fun, talking about strategy and playing the game. People are going to see quite a bit."


Competitions have been part of the show since season two. Various competitions force the HouseGuests to work together, in teams, or against each other for prizes or power. There are three different styles of games: endurance contests test which HouseGuest can last the longest doing a certain task (such as holding a key); games of skill test the HouseGuests' athleticism, ingenuity, or luck; and quizzes test the HouseGuests' knowledge of each other and the house. All three styles are used to varying degrees in the weekly competitions. Sometimes, a recycled competition that has appeared in a previous season is used. For example, the game "Majority Rules" (in which the HouseGuests have to answer questions with opinions while trying to stay with the majority until the tie-breaker question), which debuted in season four, has been recycled into the sixth, eighth, tenth, 12th, and 13th seasons, each time being played for Head of Household.

Head of Household (HoH)

After each eviction (except the first week), HouseGuests compete to become the Head of Household. Due to the live show's time limit, quizzes are normally used for this competition. Games of skill also appear as HoH competitions occasionally, while the endurance contest is only used two to three times a season.

The HoH receives perks such as their own private bedroom, photos or gifts from home, and maid service. The HoH also nominates two HouseGuests for eviction. If one of the nominees is removed via the Power of Veto, the HoH will name a replacement nominee. The HoH reigns until the next eviction in which he or she may not vote except to break a tie. The HouseGuest may not participate in the following HoH competition unless only three HouseGuests are remaining or on special occasions, the rare Coup D'etat is used. In this event the HoH is also able to compete in the next HoH competition, because they have been considered 'overthrown'. The Coup D'"?tat has only been used once and only ever in the game twice.

The final HoH competition occurs when only three HouseGuests remain. The competition is held in three parts. For the first stage, the HouseGuests compete in an endurance contest requiring the HouseGuests to hang on to their keys in the face of some unusual circumstance. The second stage is commonly a game of skill between the losers of the previous stage. The winners of first and second stage face off in a quiz where the participants must guess what departed HouseGuests thought. The winner of the third stage becomes the last HoH while the two other HouseGuests are automatically nominated. As none of the trio are eligible to vote, the last HoH breaks the 0-0 tie and chooses who to evict.

Although one HouseGuest normally retains the Head of Household rewards and responsibilities for the week, exceptions have occurred. In a "double eviction" week, the first HoH only reigns for a short period (between an hour and three days) while the second HoH reigns for the rest of the week. When this occurs, the first HoH is normally not provided the benefits such as use of the HoH bedroom. Another exception is when two HouseGuests share Head of Household, such as in the first week of Big Brother: All-Stars as well as the first few weeks of Big Brother 9. The co-HoHs had to agree on two nominees or else become the nominees themselves and lose their HoH privileges. If a tie were to occur when there were co-HoHs, and the HoHs could not agree on who to evict, then the Power of Veto winner would have to cast the tie-breaking vote.

The HoH has been adopted by some other countries with different rules, including the African, Australian, Brazilian, and the United Kingdom version.

Power of Veto (PoV)

The Power of Veto is a power that a contestant can earn. Starting in season 3, all contestants were allowed to participate in the veto competition. The Silver Power of Veto allowed a player to remove a person from the block, however, a person who is nominated could not take themselves off the nomination block. If someone who was not originally nominated wins the power of veto, he/she can take any player off the block.

During the final veto competition of season 3 (final 5), the Golden Power of Veto was unveiled, which allowed a nominated contestant to remove themselves from the block. There was no veto competition during the final 4 of season 3.

During the final veto competition of season 4 (final 4), the Diamond Power of Veto was unveiled, which only allowed a nominee to remove themselves from the block. The other two contestants could win it, but not use it. This was done since the winner of the veto would have the sole decision on whom to eliminate, unless the winner was the HOH. In this case, it would render the initial nominations meaningless, since literally any combination of nominations would still be possible. Starting in season 5, the Diamond Power of veto was replaced with another Golden Power of veto at final 4. The initial nominations are thus meaningless, but this fact was ignored.

Beginning in season 5, only 6 contestants are allowed to participate in the veto competition. Originally, the HOH and each nominee picked one person to play along with them. However, in season 5 this was taken advantage of when the HOH nominated two from her own alliance, making her target ineligible to compete. After her alliance won the veto by default, they used it to veto a nomination and place their intended target on the block without a chance to compete for the veto. At the time, this was referred to as the "six-finger plan", but in coming years came to be known as the "backdoor" strategy.

To prevent backdoors, the rules were changed starting in season 6. The HOH and nominees could no longer automatically pick who would participate with them in the veto competition. Instead, they randomly drew names from a bag. Occasionally, however, they may draw a "houseguest choice" from the bag, which allows them to pick a player of their own choosing, according to the original rules. Due to these new rules, backdoors are less common and more risky, but still occur from time to time.

In season 12, the diamond power of veto was brought back into the game. However, this time it was handed out much earlier in the game, and thus the old rules no longer applied. Upon using a diamond power of veto, the veto holder may choose the replacement nomination, instead of the HOH.

Under the current rules, each week, after the Head of Household has announced the week's nominees, the six HouseGuests (The HoH, the two nominees, and three other housemates determined by random draw) compete for the Golden Power of Veto. The winner of the Power of Veto can choose to veto one of the Head of Household's initial nominations, including themselves. If the veto winner does not want to veto one of the HoH's nominations, he or she can choose to keep the nominations the same. If they do veto one of the nominees, the HoH must name a replacement nominee. The winner is also protected from becoming a replacement nominee for the week. The golden power of veto is up for grabs every week through the final 4, but occasionally other forms of the veto may appear as a twist. Veto competitions are more often a game of skill instead of a quiz or endurance competition.

The veto has been played for 133 times with the following results (from seasons 3-14):

  • 55 times a nominee saved themselves
  • 26 times a fellow houseguest saved a nominee (Including eight times by the HOH and three times by the other nominee)
  • 52 times the veto was not used (Including one nominee choosing not to save themself)

Food competition

Food competitions allow the HouseGuests to win food for the week. Most food competitions are games of skill, although the HouseGuests may work individually, in teams, or as one group. The Head of Household hosts the Food Competition and can eat any food the winners would earn. Winners eat a variety of food during the week. Losers go on food restriction, which usually lasts until after the next eviction and HoH competition. However, food competitions may not be held every week. For example, no food competitions were played the latter half of season six.

During seasons two through six, the food restriction was a diet of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk, water, and condiments. Starting in All Stars, the sandwiches were replaced with "Big Brother Slop". The slop looks (but doesn't taste) like oatmeal and has essential nutrients, but it is not appetizing. If the HouseGuests are hypoglycemic, they may request a sugar substance to mix with the "Big Brother Slop". In Season 9 Amanda Hansen fainted from a lack of sugar from her diet of "Big Brother Slop". This is when the show stated that HouseGuests may request the sugar substance. The HouseGuests can win "passes" to escape food restriction once. The passes are transferable until used or its holder is evicted, so trading the pass became a tool in strategy.

When all HouseGuests compete as one group, the competition changes slightly. The competition is not for all food or food restriction for the whole week. Instead, the HouseGuests may compete to earn different food groups. Alternatively, the HouseGuests may compete to earn the full food diet for each day of the week.

To date, HouseGuest Jen Johnson of Season 8 is the first house guest to defy the slop rules, eating a turkey burger, cottage cheese, and an apple. By doing so she originally received a penalty nomination for the following week but this was later replaced with a penalty eviction vote during Week 7 due to the original punishment being found unfair to the week's other nominee Jameka Cameron. HouseGuest Jeff Schroeder of Season 11 drank Gatorade while he was on Slop, therefore earning himself an extra day. Kevin Campbell was also given an extra day during Season 11 for eating a grape.

Luxury competitions

The Luxury Competitions allow the HouseGuests to win special prizes. They usually involve games of skill. Examples of previous luxuries earned include margarita parties, movie screenings, and access to newspaper clippings. This competition occurred frequently in the earlier seasons. In later seasons, Luxury Competitions are held less frequently as the show began giving prizes away during the Head of Household and Power of Veto competitions. An example of this is the backyard's hot tub. The first Luxury Competition in seasons two through five were to earn the key to the hot tub. However, the hot tub's key was hidden in the Gold room in season six, and the hot tub was not locked at all in seasons seven through fourteen.

Have and Have Not competitions

Big Brother replaced the food competitions with Have and Have Not competitions starting with Big Brother 11. Similar to the food competition from previous seasons, the houseguests would split up into teams, with the winning team becoming "Haves" for the week, while the losing team would become "Have Nots". Whereas the Haves would gain standard houseguest privileges, the Have Nots would have to eat slop, take cold showers, and sleep in the Have Not bedroom, which features hard beds with thin blankets and pillows and other circumstances to make houseguests as uncomfortable as possible. Since Season 11, an America's Vote poll allowed viewers to select a food item that houseguests on food restriction could have without penalty. In season 14, the competition was renamed to Coach's Competitions for the first three weeks of the season.

Coach's competitions

The coach's competition, introduced in Big Brother 14 is a weekly competition where the coaches of the season compete for food and power. The winner of this competition would be able to give immunity to one of the coach's team members. The Coach's competition was eliminated once the coaches entered the game as players after week 4. The winner also determined the "Haves" and "Have Nots", with the same rules applying since its introduction in season 11. In season 14, the have not room had a twisty swirly illusion theme.

America's Vote

America's Vote, formerly titled America's Choice, allows the viewing public to select a HouseGuest to receive a special opportunity not available to other HouseGuests. Voting is done through the CBS website and text messaging. Though HouseGuests do not actively compete for the reward, it is essentially a reward based on viewers' opinions of the HouseGuests. America's Choice contests begin midway through each season and occur weekly. Previous contests have allowed HouseGuests to make a mobile phone call to family, have a walk-on role for a CBS soap opera, and conduct an internet chat with fans. In season six, the first America's Choice contest was to vote a previously evicted HouseGuest back into the house. America's Choice is not always a choice between contestants to earn a special opportunity. Sometimes viewers are asked what challenge the HouseGuests should play or what kind of appliance would be given to the HouseGuests. In season eight, America's Choice spun off into America's Player, where Eric was chosen to fulfill tasks voted on by the public for financial reward. During Big Brother 7: All-Stars, America's Choice was renamed America's Vote. An America's Vote poll during Big Brother 10 allowed viewers to select a food item that houseguests on food restriction could have without penalty, from seasons 11-14 they have continued a similar poll.

AV Wins Season(s) Prize
Janelle Pierzina 5 6/7/14 Phone call home, Set visit to Two and a Half Men, Entry into the Big Brother All-Stars House, Big Brother Prom Queen, Season 7's $25,000 Jury Prize
Robert Roman 3 4 Letter from home, Phone call home, Internet chat with fans
Jeff Schroeder 3 11/13 Power of the Coup D'"?tat, Season 11's $25,000 Favorite HouseGuest Prize, Season 13's $25,000 Favorite HouseGuest Prize
Kaysar Ridha 2 6/7 Re-entry into BB6 house, Entry into the Big Brother All-Stars House
Will Kirby 1 2/7 Internet chat with fans
Bunky Miller 1 2 Letter from home
Hardy Hill 1 2 Phone call home
Krista Stegall 1 2 Birthday Dinner Date
Danielle Reyes 1 3/7 Video from home
Jason Guy 1 3 Letter from home
Lisa Donahue 1 3 Internet chat with fans
1 3/7 Private dinner date
Erika Landin 1 4/7 Entry into the Big Brother All-Stars House
Marvin Latimer 1 5 Walk on role in The Young and the Restless
Michael Ellis 1 5 Phone call home
Diane Henry 1 5/7 Entry into the Big Brother All-Stars House
Jase Wirey 1 5/7 Entry into the Big Brother All-Stars House
Nakomis Dedmon 1 5/7 Entry into the Big Brother All-Stars House
Howie Gordon 1 6/7 Entry into the Big Brother All-Stars House
James Rhine 1 6/7 Entry into the Big Brother All-Stars House
Eric Stein 1 8 Chance to become America's Player; $40,000 if accepted (accepted)
Alex Coladonato 1 9 Possible re-entry into BB9 House (did not eventually return into the house)
James Zinkand 1 9 Season 9's $25,000 Jury Prize
Dan Gheesling 1 10/14 Chance to become America's Player; $20,000 if accepted (accepted)
Jerry MacDonald 1 10 Phone call from home
Keesha Smith 1 10 Season 10's $25,000 Jury Prize
Jordan Lloyd 1 11/13 7th Jury Vote to win Big Brother 11
Ragan Fox 1 12 Chance to become the second Saboteur of the summer; $20,000 if accepted (accepted)
Britney Haynes 1 12/14 Season 12's $25,000 Favorite HouseGuest Prize
Brendon Villegas 1 12/13 Chance to return to the house in Season 13; pending a challenge against the next evicted player (eventually won challenge and returned)
Frank Eudy 1 14 Season 14's $25,000 Favorite HouseGuest Prize

Pandora's Box

Pandora's Box was introduced in Big Brother 11. Opening Pandora's Box can unleash a good consequence and a bad consequence. Pandora's Box is a room located adjacent to the Head of Household bedroom and can only be opened by the HoH, although the consequences of opening Pandora's Box can affect the entire house. Pandora's Box was absent in the first 6 weeks on Big Brother 14 because of the new HoH's coach bedroom but made its return in week seven. Big Brother 14 contestant Ian Terry is the first person to have opened Pandora's Box twice.

Head of Household Season Good Consequence Bad Consequence
Kevin Campbell 11 $10,000 was released into the House Locked in Pandora's Box
Natalie Martinez 11 Private meeting with boyfriend HoH couldn't compete for the Power of Veto & Clowns entered House to annoy the HouseGuests
Matt Hoffman 12 Diamond Power of Veto New Saboteur unleashed
Brendon Villegas 12 24-hour vacation from the House Evicted HouseGuest Rachel returned for 24 hours
Britney Haynes 12 House received a Luau Locked in Pandora's Box with seasons 10 and 11 Jessie
Lane Elenburg 12 Won $91.17 No silverware/cups for a week, Sock puppets for 12 hours and Dancing for 12 hours when music plays
Porsche Briggs 13 Won $10,000 (forced to divide it evenly with her partner) Dynamic duo twist returned
Rachel Reilly 13 New clothes and Visit by Tori Spelling Locked in Pandora's Box with seasons 10 and 11 Jessie
Frank Eudy 14 $3,000 Cash Golden Ball of Veto (in carnival style claw machine)
Ian Terry 14 Christmas Presents Seasons 10 and 11 Jessie entered the house and replaced all of the HouseGuests' junk food with healthier food
Ian Terry 14 Video Messages from Home A video message from Rachel Reilly
{{colorbox}} What HoH received

Controversy and criticism

Big Brother 1

After the premiere of the first season, Chicago attorney Marvin Rosenblum filed a lawsuit against CBS, then corporate parent Viacom, and the production company Orwell Productions for alleged copyright infringement. Rosenblum, a producer of the film 1984, owns the film and TV rights to the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and claimed the show "illegally borrows from it." Rosenblum accused the network of illegally using the Big Brother moniker from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and "deceiving the public into thinking the author's classic novel was the origin of the show." CBS, Viacom, and Orwell Productions filed a motion to dismiss the $20 million lawsuit. The dismissal was denied on January 4, 2001. In 2001 Rosenblum, CBS and Viacom settled the lawsuit under undisclosed terms.

Big Brother 2

HouseGuest Justin Sebik was expelled on Day 10 for breaking Big Brother rules. Justin threatened his fellow HouseGuests with physical violence and intimidation, a violation of one of the most serious House rules.

Julie Chen, host of Big Brother, explained that Justin was given an official warning that such behavior was not appropriate in the Big Brother house. Justin repeated the warning, proving that he understood the rule. His behavior included destruction of house property, culminating in a final incident during which he and Krista were kissing on the kitchen table. He picked up a metal carpet sweeper and asked her, "Would you get mad if I cracked you over the head with this?" He swung the carpet sweeper towards Krista but put it down and kissed her. He walked away from her in the kitchen and asked, "Would you get mad if I killed you?" He then picked up a large knife, returned to Krista and, while they kissed, placed the knife against her throat. He briefly took the knife away from her throat but, with Krista's encouragement, returned the knife to her throat and they began kissing again. As the kiss ended he put the knife down back into its drawer.

After a confrontation with the show's psychologist, it was decided that Justin would be expelled from the Big Brother house. During the remainder of her time in the house Krista, who was drunk at the time of the incident, never mentioned it to the other houseguests, and seemed to not remember what happened when asked by Julie Chen upon her eviction. However, Krista Stegall later sued CBS over the incident.

Big Brother 4

HouseGuest Scott Weintraub was expelled on Day 8 after having a violent outburst in the house, related to the season twist, X-Factor. Scott tossed furniture around the House, delivered an expletive-laden rant, and refused to go to the Diary Room when called. He later apologized to his fellow HouseGuests who were uncomfortable with his actions in the house. Once Scott went to the Diary Room he was removed from the house and expelled.

Big Brother 6

HouseGuests Eric Littman and Michael Donnellan got into a confrontation regarding comments Michael made about Eric's family. Earlier in the evening, Rachel who was eavesdropping on Janelle and Michael in the Gold Room overheard Michael make a poor joke about Eric's grandparents to Janelle. Rachel told Eric that she heard them badmouthing his family. Later that night Eric and Ivette were outside discussing the incident when Michael went outside. Eric provoked Michael who retorted, calling Eric "a midget with a small penis." Eric lost all control going after Michael. The other HouseGuests blocked Eric's attack at Michael. Big Brother intervened, telling Eric to leave the backyard and go to the Diary Room, and telling Michael to go to the storage room. Shortly afterwards, Ivette told Kaysar he had no respect for women, attacked Kaysar's beliefs and made racial remarks. Big Brother intervened again giving warnings to all HouseGuests. Eric apologized to his fellow HouseGuests, saying he would never hurt anyone.

Big Brother 8

See Big Brother 8 (U.S.)#Controversy and criticism for more information

Big Brother 9

See Big Brother 9 (U.S.)#Controversy and criticism for more information

HouseGuest Adam Jasinski made disparaging remarks during the first episode of the season, causing Autism United to demand an apology from CBS. During the first Wednesday episode, after the Power Couple Competition, Adam stated he worked for an autism foundation and would spend his winnings on a hair salon for people with developmental disabilities "so retards can get it together and get their hair done." His partner in the House, Sheila, told him not to "call them that," to which he said he "can call them whatever I want" because he "work[s] with them all day." In a letter obtained by TMZ from John Gilmore, Executive Director of Autism United to Sumner Redstone, Chairman of CBS Corporation, Gilmore demanded action be taken after the Wednesday episode. Gilmore claimed that the network chose to air the segment for "their own personal goals." The organization also called for the show to be canceled and the organization has contacted advertisers over the issue. Due to the controversy, Lowe's has decided not to advertise during future Big Brother episodes, but it was unclear whether or not they were currently advertising during the program. Autism United has also contacted other advertisers, such as Campbell's Soup, Claritin, Geico, McDonald's and Taco Bell. Autism United and various parents in South Florida are calling for an investigation into Adam Jasinski and the United Autism Foundation. The organization claims to be a 501 c3 charity (deductions made to the organization would be considered tax deductible under current IRS regulations.) The website for United Autism Foundation has an apology regarding Adam's behavior and states he will no longer be working for the company.

On Day 31, Matt used the word "nigga" when referring to another (white) HouseGuest. The incident in question was aired on both the live Internet feeds and the spin-off show Big Brother: After Dark on Showtime 2.

On Day 70, there was a controversial Head of Household competition. In the competition, Adam, Sharon and Ryan were read a series of seven statements relating to events in the game. The HouseGuests were to determine if each statement was "fact" by stepping forward or "fiction" by stepping backward. Each HouseGuest had their own section, so they could not see the answers of other HouseGuests. Many fans of the show, including House Calls co-host Evel Dick, were displeased with the final "fact or fiction" statement. The controversial statement -- "Everybody knows that Jacob/Sharon and Ryan/Jen were two pre-existing relationships in the Big Brother house, but there is a third pre-existing relationship still in the house""?was considered "fact" due to the guinea pigs knowing each other prior to entering. Many fans considered this question unfair because the guinea pigs are not actual players and just house pets. While many other fans considered the statement not only unfair but deceptive on the part of Big Brother producers as the relationship between guinea pigs is not equivalent or comparable to players of the game. If the question had pertained to only human relationships, Sharon would have become the new Head of Household. Ryan won, however, and Sharon ended up being evicted that week.

Big Brother 10

See Big Brother 10 (U.S.)#Controversy and criticism for more information

Big Brother 10 came under fire from critics such as the Parents Television Council for airing the term "fucking" uncensored during the Tuesday, August 5 episode of the show. The event in question was aired during an argument between Libra and Jessie in which Libra said: "Memphis was in the fucking room!"

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