Channel 5 has announced that Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother will not return after this year.
Presented by Emma Willis, the new civilian series which begins tonight (September 14) will be the franchise’s last on the broadcaster. The news means that the spin-off Bit on the Side shows hosted by Rylan Clark-Neal have also been dropped.
“The forthcoming series of Big Brother will be the last – of either celebrity or civilian versions – on Channel 5,” Channel 5 said in a statement shared with Digital Spy.
“We’d like to thank Endemol and all of the production team who have worked tirelessly to make the show a success.
“We’d also like to thank our brilliant presenters – Emma on Big Brother and Rylan from Bit on the Side – for their consummate professionalism, Marcus [Bentley], the voice of Big Brother and all of the housemates who have created so many memorable moments.
“Most importantly, we’d like to thank fans of the show for their support over the last seven years. We look forward to giving the final series a brilliant send-off.”
Production company Endemol Shine released a statement, suggesting that although it’s the end of Big Brother on Channel 5, the franchise may continue in some form elsewhere.
“We are incredibly proud of Big Brother which has consistently been the highest-rated show for Channel 5 over the past seven years, with the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother being the channel’s highest-rating show of the year, growing its audience year-on-year by 17% and tripling the channel’s slot average for 16-24s,” Endemol said.
“This performance is credit to the fantastic production team, plus Emma, Rylan, Marcus and the many housemates over the years who have delivered so many unmissable series.
“Big Brother continues to be a global phenomenon. The UK is one of 20 countries where the show will air in 2018, including the US where Celebrity Big Brother was recently renewed, four different versions in India and last month’s Celebrity Big Brother in Germany, which saw a rise of 85% series on series.
“Whilst disappointed not to reach an agreement with Channel 5, the decision opens up a new chapter and we are excited about future possibilities for Big Brother in the UK.”
The latest promo for the new civilian series, released earlier today, makes reference to the franchise coming to a close on Channel 5.
“It’s time for this game to end,” the voiceover announces, before calling it the “final series of Big Brother“. You can watch the teaser below:
Channel 5 and production company Endemol had been in talks about the future of Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother for many months, as their current deal which expires at the end of 2018 was coming to an end.
In February, Channel 5 took pitches for shows to replace Big Brother, and in August 2017, channel boss Ben Frow said he’d be “much happier” if the channel didn’t air the series, adding that he’d prefer for Channel 5 to focus on its own programmes instead.
It was also reported earlier this year that Endemol would consider pitching to streaming platforms, should its partnership with Channel 5 not be renewed.
Big Brother‘s launch night airs tonight on Channel 5 at 9pm.
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