CELEBRITY Big Brother bosses are in talks to delay the summer series to avoid a clash with Love Island after losing the ratings battle last year.
The Channel 5 show’s audience dropped by almost half after its launch – scoring a moderate 690,000 viewers for a Sunday night episode last year compared to Love Island’s huge audience of 1.5 million.
And now CBB producers are keen to avoid rivalling the ITV2 dating show by launching their summer series weeks later.
A TV source said: “Love Island stomped all over the reality competition last summer and Celebrity Big Brother had no chance at eclipsing the show’s success.
“It’s a big decision for producers to make but they believe the risk of moving the series back will pay off in terms of the ratings.
“CBB regularly failed to reach one million viewers when Love Island was on so they’re trying to think of ways to avoid the direct competition next year.”
A spokeswoman for Channel 5 said: “We haven't confirmed transmission dates for any BB or CBB series.”
Bosses even signed up Islander Jonny Mitchell to the cast of the current series in the hope that he would be a big hit on the show.
But the Love Island lothario narrowly missed out on being evicted from the house in the first week after India Willoughby lost the public vote.
It has been reported that Celebrity Big Brother could be set for the axe after 18 years when the show’s contract with Channel 5 runs out at the end of this year.
And with failing ratings, station boss Ben Frow previously admitted he would be "much happier with a channel that didn't have Big Brother on it."
Commenting on the popularity of Love Island, Frow added: "I've got Big Brother which has declined, declined, declined."