“Global News Headlines”: How Big Brother VIP upped the ante with new format

Big Brother VIP the summit

“The goal was to cast noisy and big household names”

Big Brother swung open the doors to his VIP hotel on November 1 with the star-studded premiere of Big Brother VIP on Channel Seven and 7plus.

Mediaweek caught up with the show’s executive producer Amelia Fisk from Endemol Shine Australia about what viewers can expect from the revived format.

A celebrity version of Big Brother has not aired in Australia since 2003 when Celebrity Big Brother aired on Channel 10. Fisk said that it now felt like the right time to do a celebrity format after two seasons of the revamped version of Big Brother on Seven.

“Having VIPs play Big Brother’s game is really fly on the wall reality TV. The pure nature of Big Brother is the fact that they are being watched 24/7 and it enables the celebrities to drop their guard. They forget that they’re being filmed and because of that it delivers jaw dropping revelations that will make global news headlines. The viewers are transported into an unfiltered and uncensored glossy mag. And it provides for fascinating entertainment. The celebrity version is unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”

Big brother VIP

The cast is comprised of Bernard Curry, Caitlyn Jenner, Danny Hayes, Dayne Beams, Ellie Gonsalves, Imogen Anthony, Jessika Power, Josh Carroll,  Luke Toki, Matt Cooper, Thomas Markle Jr., and Omarosa. Fisk said that when filling out the cast that they wanted housemates with stories that would capture people’s attention.

“The goal was to cast noisy and big household names that Australian audiences could relate to like Caitlyn Jenner, Thomas Markle Jr and Omarosa. We wanted to capture those types of people that we knew would tell stories in that house. The stories that they do tell are mind-blowing.

“Internationally, there was a lot of interest. Whether it was from the States or the UK there was so much interest. It wasn’t a hard sell for these people.”

Fisk said that the show will be different from the regular format in more ways than just the cast, with the whole show to be taken up a notch.

“The fact that they were VIPs was dictating a lot of the creative. Even the design of the house/hotel that we did this year had to feel different to the civilian series. How can we make it more premium? How can we make it more Luxe? That’s why Big Brother decided to put them in a hotel that had lifts and floors and the backdrop was slightly more luxurious. The creative was asking how can we capture these great names and give them a chance to tell their story? We were a bit looser in terms of the format with not so many house tasks and shopping tasks. It was giving them a chance to tell their stories.”

Big Brother VIP

Big Brother turns 21

Big Brother will return to its regular format in 2022 but as the show celebrates its 21st birthday, and Fisk said that the show will have a sense of nostalgia to it.

“We are changing a few things up with the next series of Big Brother with the theme that it’s Big Brother’s 21st birthday. There are some fundamental format changes where we are bringing back things like house noms to celebrate.”

Despite Big Brother VIP being expected to have a shorter run, Fisk said that the regular format still suites a long slate of episodes.

“It works for a celebrity VIP version, I don’t think we could get celebrities for that long. But for the civilian series, I think you need that length of the game to get that development and the change and personal growth.”

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