Channel 5’s Frow plays down Big Brother ratings low

5 comments - Posted on September 12 2015 at 08:06pm

Channel 5 director of programmes Ben Frow

Channel 5 chief Ben Frow has played down the slide in ratings for Big Brother’s ‘Timebomb’ series, revealing that the show is “important” and a “big banker” for the broadcaster.

The civilian version attracted record low viewing figures this summer for the second year in a row, with Timebomb achieving an official series average of 1.36million viewers – down 210,000 on its predecessor, ‘Power Trip’.

But Frow, C5’s director of programmes, didn’t appear too bothered about the numbers when he spoke at last month’s Edinburgh International Television Festival – saying that he “loves” having the fifteen-year-old reality format in the broadcaster’s line-up.

When told by interviewer Mary Nightingale that Festival sponsor The Guardian had described Timebomb as “unwatchable”, he responded: “Well don’t watch it then! I don’t think we make Big Brother for The Guardian really do we? It’d be a very different show!

“It’s a really important show for us. We work very hard to try and make it entertaining and good TV – certainly I love having it in the schedule. We use it strategically to launch new series because it’s a big banker for us.”

Referring to the last winter series of Celebrity Big Brother, which starred Katie Hopkins and Perez Hilton, Frow added: “January was the most successful – ironically the summer was the least successful, it’s one of those things, you just don’t know how it’s all gonna land.”

Earlier this year, C5 signed a new three-year contract for the rights to Big Brother, guaranteeing one civilian and two Celebrity runs every year until the end of 2018.

In the same session, Frow revealed that he has banned controversial housemate Helen Wood from taking part in future series, describing her as a “bad person”.

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5 comments on this article

  1. samj11 says:
    Sun 13 Sep Reply !

    I wish they’d use their heads and try and replicate the reasons why they had so much success with Secrets & Lies. It’s the only truly great main series they’ve had.

    Timebomb had a lot of potential, but it was ruined by stupid “twists” and constant meddling… and Wood, of course. But I’d like to pretend she and Power Trip never happened.

    • Kieran J Knowles says:
      Sun 13 Sep !

      I thought so too. I think they need to promote the application process as soon as possible so that a variety of people apply for it. I think that the producers need to sit down after this Summer”s CBB and talk about why this theme did not work, also some of this year’s civilian housemates were quite dull, that’s why people tuned off as well. I think CBB in the Winter will prove more sucessful due to the weather etc. plus the producers have more time to sign people xx

  2. Debra says:
    Sun 13 Sep Reply !

    I watch every series and love it twists Warts and all keep it coming :up:

  3. dragon says:
    Sun 13 Sep Reply !

    I don’t mind the arguing on BB, but I do object when BB set people up to make things worse.

  4. Tony says:
    Mon 14 Sep Reply !

    We used to laugh our heads off at BB and also CBB.
    BUT it is no longer amusing; it is shocking, with the housemates using the foulest language and behaviour imaginable. What is worse, is that Channel 5 are encouraging this “car crash” format, using fake evictions and selective editing to preserve the foulest housemates from eviction by a discerning British public. Helen Woods, Perez Hilton and Gary Busey proving my point. If its only about keeping viewers wondering what horrors are coming next, and keeping on tuning in, then C5 is being successful BUT if entertainment is the goal, then you’ll find that viewing figures are going to crash. I am sure the majority of viewers are getting really fed up with this vulgar and confrontational style of presentation.

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