Big Brother (American TV series)

American TV reality competition show
(Redirected from Big Brother (U.S.))

Big Brother is a reality television game show. It is based on an originally Dutch language TV series of the same name which was created by John de Mol in 1997.[2] The show follows a group of House Guests living together 24 hours a day in the "Big Brother" house. They are isolated from everyone outside of the house. They are videotaped with no privacy for three months. Since its US television start in 2000, Big Brother has continue airing with at least one season of the show on CBS each year. It is currently the second longest version of the show to have done so, after the Spanish version. On September 25, 2022, CBS announced that Big Brother was renewed for its 25th season in summer 2023. The 25th season began on August 2, 2023.[3]

The HouseGuests compete for the chance to win $750,000. They must try to avoid weekly eviction, until the last HouseGuest remains. The American series is hosted by television personality Julie Chen. It is produced by Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan for Fly On The Wall Entertainment. It currently airs in the United States on CBS[4] and in Canada on Global.[5]

Main series

Julie Chen and Les Moonves at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival

Eviction night are hosted by television personality and news anchor, Julie Chen. She is the wife of CBS President Les Moonves and co-host of the network's The Talk. Chen was a former co-host of CBS's The Early Show. Television critics gave Chen negative reviews during her first season (2000). Many critics did not like that she was very stale when presenting.[6] They also did not like her "weak" interviews with evictees during the live program.[6] They also did not like Chen's phrase "But first...", they believed she used it too much.[7] Many fans of the show began calling her "the Chenbot". Chen later said that she knew about this and accepted it.[8][9]

There was an announcer during the first season. The announcer introduced every scene. As the show progressed, the announcer only came on during the opening and closing of each episode. There have been several different announcers throughout the years. Past announcers include Dave Walsh (season and episode 2 of season two),[10] Chuck Riley (season two),[11] and Phil Proctor (seasons 3-6).[12] The current announcer is Clayton Halsey and he has been the announcer since season seven.[13]


Big Brother 8's floor plan of the house.

The format for the first season was very different from the following seasons. The first season was very similar to international versions of Big Brother.[1] Each HouseGuest would individually go to the Diary Room and nominate two fellow HouseGuests for banishment. The term "eviction" was not used until the second season. The two or more HouseGuests with the most nominations were then revealed to the House and were "Marked for Banishment". The public were invited to vote for who they wish to evict by calling a premium rate telephone number. The HouseGuest who received the most public vote was evicted. When there were three HouseGuests left, the public would vote for the winner.

Starting with the second season, the HouseGuests competed to become Head of Household. The Head of Household is responsible for nominating two HouseGuests for eviction.[14] During the Live Eviction show, HouseGuests individually go into the Diary Room and vote on who they wish to evict. Julie then reveals the results of the vote to the House. She then tells the evicted HouseGuest that s/he only has a few moments to leave the house. In the event of a tie, the Head of Household will be the deciding vote.[15] When two HouseGuests remain, the evicted HouseGuests voted for the winner. However, if there were a tie the public would vote.[16]

In Big Brother 3 (2002), a new power was introduced called the Power of Veto. The Power of Veto winner can choose to veto one of the Head of Household's nominations. When this happens, the Head of Household chooses someone else. The winner is also protected from becoming a replacement nominee for the week.[17] At first, the Power of Veto was silver and if a nominee won the Power of Veto the nominee could not save themselves. The "Golden" Power of Veto was introduced in the last veto competition in season three. If a nominee won it, they could save themselves.[18][19]

The "Crystal" Power of Veto was introduced in the final veto competition of Big Brother 4 (2003). It could only be used by a nominee. If anyone else won it, it could not be used. The Golden Power of Veto is now the standard veto since season four. The fourth season also started the Big Brother Jury, sometimes called the "Jury of Seven". The Jury is made up of the final seven evicted HouseGuests. Each member of the Jury is isolated in a different house. The Jury members are not allowed to watch the show except for small parts such as the nominations and the Power of Veto ceremonies. They are not allowed to see any Diary Room interviews or any footage involving strategy or twists to the game. The Big Brother Jury votes to determine the winner of Big Brother each season.[19]

Ten years later, Big Brother 15 (2013) raised the number of nominees from two to three a week. This is similar to the French Canadian version of the show. In addition, a new weekly power called the Most Valuable Player will give this HouseGuest a special power. The Most Valuable Player will have the ability to nominate the 3rd nominee, without anyone knowing who they are.

Live show


Live shows have been broadcast on Thursday nights in every season. However, the first, fourth, ninth and fifteenth seasons were not broadcast on Thursday nights. They were instead on Wednesday nights. Later in the season, there would be live shows on other days. These examples were for double evictions. From the second season through the ninth season, Chen presented the live show in an empty studio next to the house. Starting with the tenth season, the live shows once again had an audience.[20]

Season details

Season House Guests Days Winner Runner-Up Finale Vote Notes
Big Brother 1 10 88 Eddie McGee Josh Souza 59% Differed completely from later seasons, where eliminations were called "banishments" instead of "evictions" and occurred via the viewers instead of votes.
Big Brother 2 12 82 Will "Dr. Will" Kirby Nicole Schaffrich 5–2 First season to feature the Head of Household (HoH) and in which a HouseGuest, Justin Sebik, was expelled from the game. Also the only season to have nullified votes in the finale.
Big Brother 3 Lisa Donahue Danielle Reyes 9–1 First season to feature the Power of Veto (PoV) and the only season to have every evicted HouseGuest vote for a winner. Also the first season to have a HouseGuest return to the house, but the HouseGuests voted for who to return, not a public vote.
Big Brother 4 13 Jun Song Alison Irwin 6–1 Featured the "X-Factor", in which five people were joined by ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. Also the first season to feature the "Big Brother Jury", where the last seven evicted HouseGuests voted for who to win. First season to feature the Diamond POV.
Big Brother 5 14 Drew Daniel Michael "Cowboy" Ellis 4–3 Featured "Project DNA: Do Not Assume", in which two HouseGuests discovered they were brother and sister, despite having no prior knowledge of each other. Additionally, twins secretly swapped in and out of the house, pretending to be the same person, in a bid to get to play the game individually.
Big Brother 6 80 Maggie Ausburn Ivette Corredero 4–3 Billed as "Summer of Secrets", each houseguest began the game with a secret partner who they knew prior to entering the house. The prize money would be increased should one of the pairs make the final two. Additionally, for the first time, the public were able to vote for one player to return to the game after eviction.
Big Brother: All-Stars 14 returning contestants 72 Mike "Boogie" Malin Erika Landin 6–1 Introduced the "Coup d'État", earning the power to overthrow the HoH and change nominations, and the "Big Brother Slop", which replaced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as the weekly food restriction.
Big Brother 8 14 81 "Evel" Dick Donato Daniele Donato 5–2 Featured three nemeses (Dick, Dustin and Jessica), and the addition of "costumes", which would later be used in subsequent seasons. Also the first season to include "America's Player".
Big Brother 9 16 Adam Jasinski Ryan Quicksall 6–1 Only season to air in the winter as a result of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Also the first season to have the HouseGuests play as couples and the first to have a player walk out of (voluntary quit) the game.
Big Brother 10 13 71 Dan Gheesling Memphis Garrett 7–0 Noted as a "back to basics" season by both CBS and the production team. As part of the back to basics format, there was no "twist" to the season, live audiences returned for the Thursday eviction shows for the first time since Big Brother 1, and for the first time since Big Brother 3 the HouseGuests were all complete strangers. Second season to have an America's Player. Also the only season to have a unanimous vote winner.
Big Brother 11 12 + 1 returning contestant 73 Jordan Lloyd Natalie Martinez 5–2 Featured high school cliques, where an entire clique was safe from eviction if one of their members becomes HoH. First season to feature "Pandora's Box", and to have the American public as a juror due to Chima Simone's expulsion. Second season to feature the "Coup d'État", earning the power to overthrow the HoH and change nominations
Big Brother 12 13 75 Hayden Garrett Moss Lane Elenburg 4–3 Featured the "Big Brother Saboteur", whose mission was to not win the grand prize, but perform various tasks to disrupt the lives of the other HouseGuests in order to win $50,000. First season to feature the Zingbot 3000. Second season to feature the Diamond POV.
Big Brother 13 8 + 6 returning contestants Rachel Reilly Porsche Briggs 4–3 Featured three "Dynamic Duos" from previous seasons returning to play again. In the early weeks, houseguest's competed and were nominated in pairs, with the surviving houseguest gaining a "Golden Key" which gave them immunity until the final ten. The duos twist was resurrected for a week later in the game.
Big Brother 14 12 + 4 returning contestants Ian Terry Dan Gheesling 6–1 Featured four successful ex-HouseGuests returning to play again to coach this season's HouseGuests, while playing for their own prize of $100,000, awarded to the coach of the winning HouseGuest. One HouseGuest was evicted on the first night of the game by the coach of last-placed team of the first Head of Household competition. At the end of Week 3, America granted the coaches a choice to continue coaching or reset their game. Three coaches voted to reset the game, allowing the coaches to then become full-fledged HouseGuests.
Big Brother 15 16 90 Andy Herren GinaMarie Zimmerman 7-2 This Season is slated for 90 Days, making it the longest U.S. season to date beating out Big Brother 1 by two days. This is the first season to include "MVP Player" and to feature three nominees for eviction night instead of the usual two.


Season Episodes Launch Launch
Finale Finale
Duration Average
Big Brother 1 67 July 5, 2000 22.40 September 29, 2000 11.13 88 9.10
Big Brother 2 30 July 5, 2001 8.20 September 20, 2001 12.30 82 7.90
Big Brother 3 32 July 10, 2002 9.20 September 25, 2002 12.94 82 8.70
Big Brother 4 33 July 8, 2003 9.69 September 24, 2003 10.74 82 8.80
Big Brother 5 31 July 6, 2004 9.55 September 21, 2004 10.40 82 8.30
Big Brother 6 29 July 7, 2005 8.47 September 20, 2005 10.50 80 7.24
Big Brother: All-Stars 29 July 6, 2006 7.69 September 12, 2006 8.14 72 7.56
Big Brother 8 33 July 5, 2007 7.40 September 18, 2007 8.51 81 7.52
Big Brother 9 33 February 12, 2008 7.33 April 27, 2008 6.65 81 6.56
Big Brother 10 29 July 13, 2008 6.29 September 16, 2008 7.63 71 6.72
Big Brother 11 30 July 9, 2009 6.59 September 15, 2009 7.78 73 7.19
Big Brother 12 30 July 8, 2010 7.35 September 15, 2010 7.89 75 7.76
Big Brother 13 29 July 7, 2011 7.89 September 14, 2011 7.78 75 7.95
Big Brother 14 30 July 12, 2012 7.18 September 19, 2012 7.39 75 6.79
Big Brother 15 36 June 26, 2013 6.47 September 18, 2013 5.62 90 7.36
Big Brother 16 40 June 25, 2014 6.68 September 24, 2014 7.52 97 8.52
Big Brother 17 40 June 24, 2015 9.52 September 23, 2015 8.25 98 5.36
Big Brother 18 42 June 22, 2016 9.12 September 21, 2016 8.51 99 4.16
Big Brother 19 39 June 28, 2017 3.15 September 20, 2017 5.32 92 7.32
Big Brother 20 40 June 27, 2018 7.32 September 26, 2018 7.32 99 11.36
Big Brother 21 40 June 25, 2019 6.23 September 25, 2019 5.62 99 8.99
Big Brother 22 37 August 5, 2020 6.67 October 28, 2020 9.15 85 6.21
Big Brother 23 37 July 7, 2021 7.42 September 29, 2021 7.34 85 6.34
Big Brother 24 35 July 6, 2022 4.36 September 25, 2022 7.32 82 7.33
Big Brother 25 TBA August 2, 2023 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA


  1. 1.0 1.1 "BB1 Ep. #1". Big Brother. Season 1. Episode 1. July 5, 2000.
  2. Carman, John (July 5, 2000). "'Big Brother' Watches Their Every Movement". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 19, 2008.
  3. Stanhope, Kate (January 12, 2013). "CBS Announces Schedule for Big Brother, Unforgettable, Stephen King's Under the Dome". TV Guide.
  4. "'Big Brother: 'Til Death Do You Part' Here...There...Everywhere" (CBS press release). The Futon Critic. February 11, 2008. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
  5. "New season of Big Brother tops Global's July Highlights". Channel Canada. June 28, 2007. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved April 19, 2008.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "'Big Brother' tries again". St. Petersburg Times. May 1, 2007.
  7. Johnson, Peter (July 2, 2007). "'Big Brother' has her under a watchful eye". USA Today. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  8. Rice, Lynette (June 2, 2006). "Big Shot". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  9. Adalian, Josef (July 26, 2006). "Inside Move: Mugs do not bug Chen". Variety.
  10. "Dave Walsh". Yahoo TV. Archived from the original on August 16, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  11. "Chuck Riley". Yahoo TV. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  12. "Phil Proctor". Yahoo TV. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  13. "Clayton Halsey". Yahoo TV. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  14. "Big Brother's Back!". CBS Official Site. Archived from the original on September 9, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  15. "House Votes Out Sheryl 5 to 3". CBS Official Site. Archived from the original on October 16, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  16. "Will Power!". CBS Official Site. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  17. "Everything Changes". CBS Official Site. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  18. "Marcel-less!". CBS Official Site. Archived from the original on October 1, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "Big Brother 4 twists revealed". JAM! Showbiz. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  20. "Big Brother". Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved June 18, 2008.

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