There is some breaking news coming in now from the Big Brother Canada world, and it’s not something that many people out there will enjoy.
We’re hearing that for the upcoming 2017-18 season, there are no plans for the franchise, which first aired on Slice before moving over to Global the past two years, to continue onward. This doesn’t mean that the show is officially canceled, but it is clear that the network is interested in taking a little bit of a break. (Fingers crossed for the future.)
Why is this happening? The simplest answer is that the ratings for the show were on the decline, with season 5 not doing much to move the needle upwards. Maybe you can put some of the blame on returning-player favorites going home early, but we’d attribute more of its struggles to a couple of different things.
1. Burnout – Big Brother Canada 5 was a very good season of the show; however, it was the third season of a North American Big Brother game in under a year. That is a lot of any one thing, especially when you consider how following closely the two Americans seasons on social media became both fairly negative and fairly draining over time. As much as you may love something, there are often limits to it before you need some time away.
2. Network – We personally found the Big Brother Canada on Slice to be a superior product just because it allowed for a different, edgier version of the game that allowed it to differentiate itself further on a content level. On Global, there were higher ratings expectations but also a more diluted version of house life that lost some of the distinctive edge.
3. Logistics – One of the biggest ones here was taping the eviction shows early, which effectively meant that there was no incentive for any diehard fan to actually watch the shows live. It’s ridiculous to expect an audience of hardcore fans to not discuss what happened after the fact, even if you threaten them. This information is GOING to get out and you have no one to blame but yourself for that.
4. Monetization – Let’s make it clear that we aren’t an accountant and don’t understand how the show’s budget or advertisers work. Nonetheless, we think a mistake was made going with advertiser-based live feeds versus a paid model where you could open them up to global viewers interested in checking out the show, as well. Think about a service where viewers around the world could see episodes and the feeds and the money that would come in with that. There are advertisers risks, but it may be a worthy gamble.
Hopefully, Big Brother Canada does still find a way to come back. It’s a very fun program run by great, super-enthusiastic people, and Arisa Cox is a tremendous host. We’ve covered the show from season 1 and been to the house numerous times, and everyone has been nothing short of kind and accommodating. Maybe there are changes to be made, but hopefully the show does find a way to return in 2019.
Be sure to share your thoughts on the “hiatus” now in the comments. (Photo: Global.)