“Big Brother” is a summer institution, its live feeds are an addiction, and given the sort of money that it probably makes for CBS, it’ll be on the air for a long time still. Even with ratings down versus season 17, they are staying steady throughout and are well-prepared to take on the Olympics a little bit later in the summer. There are few opponents for the show, at least in terms of TV competition, quite like this one.
When looking at the franchise’s long-term viability, however, are there any clear concerns? Is there something that could keep the show from reaching a milestone like 25 seasons on the air? There are at least some issues that the producers and CBS need to be aware of now before they impact the ratings more, and in turn become a larger problem.
Casting – It’s odd that roughly the same group of people are responsible for casting both the American and Canadian versions of the show, so we’re inclined to blame CBS more for this than anyone else since “Big Brother Canada” tends to have pretty great casting. (We surmise that the folks at Global are more open to suggestion.) It feels like “Big Brother US” has thrown their hands up in the air and stopped trying to find new characters. You have the model / actress type (Bronte, who had a casting page before the season), the male eye candy (Victor, Paulie), the Southern guy (Corey), the superfan with glasses (Michelle), the token older houseguest (Glenn), and the over-the-top gay contestant (Jozea). You can still have all of these people without going for various archetypes.
Sure, every now and then there are casting gifts that are found within these types (Rachel Reilly is a great example), but typically the more memorable characters are the ones like a Dan, a Vanessa, a Zach Rance, or a Johnny Mac that don’t fit any particular box. We’d love to see a season where there are a different breed of contestants, such as someone from Alaska or Hawaii, more people from other religions, an Indian-American houseguest, or a few more older people a season who are willing to go in and play hard.
Twists – The show does have to be careful with implementation , and also making sure that the purity of the game is still intact despite the twists. The good news here is that, for now, this isn’t as big of a danger for the show as its casting. Most of the twists this season, teams aside, have been fairly interesting and fascinating. We don’t hate the Roadkill since it is far better than the Battle of the Block or a Have / Have-Not Competition. Meanwhile, we’re getting another show out of the Battle Back.
Also, we don’t mind these twists because we’re assuming they will go away come around the final ten or so and we’ll get back to having more of a traditional game.
Maturing the show for its audience – This is a little bit of a concern in the seasons to come. It’s okay to be silly, but do we really need to see an entire competition involving fart noises and “Uncle Austin” in the bathroom? It’s fine to play up the youthful spirit of many contestants, but it feels almost like we’re appealing more and more to a juvenile crowd as the years go on. The show’s better than this, and as its viewers get older, they’re not going to be interested in farting as entertainment.
What ideas do you think “Big Brother” should implement as it continues to age? Share below, and head over here to get some other news on the show! Also, sign up over here to secure some more TV news on all we cover, sent right over to you via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: CBS.)