C5 boss wary of becoming ‘over-reliant’ on Big Brother

10 comments - Posted on August 24 2013 at 06:50pm

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Channel 5’s director of programmes Ben Frow has hailed the success of Big Brother 2013: Secrets & Lies – but added that he is wary of becoming too dependant on such a ‘big beast’ of a show.

The fourteenth series of Big Brother – which ended on Monday with Sam Evans crowned as winner – was C5’s most successful to date, averaging a consolidated 1.9million viewers.

Speaking at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival yesterday, Frow revealed he is cautiously optimistic that there is still a ‘good few years’ left in its format.

“Big Brother’s very important, I think it was genius, genius, genius of Channel 5 to take it,” he commented. “My only concern about it is that it’s such a big beast, and we need to manage the big beast because we can’t become over-reliant on it.

“It’s the great white hope in a way, but one day it will start to fail and tail off.”

However, in what sounded like a sneaky dig at Big Brother’s former home Channel 4, he added: “I think Channel 5 will have it for a very long time. It may not always be at 9 o’clock or 10 o’clock – it may move to 11 o’clock -but you don’t get rid of something that big without having a number of things up your sleeve to replace it.

“I like to think that it’s got a lot more in it and that we will continue to surprise people and evolve it. The basic premise of people in a house will always be the same, but I think there’s a good few years in it yet because we are significantly up on the last couple of years.”

Frow took up his role at Channel 5 earlier this year, replacing Jeff Ford, the chief who oversaw Big Brother’s revival on Channel 5 and made the decision to air two Celebrity series a year.

The broadcaster’s current deal with production company Endemol expires at the end of next summer, after the fifteenth civilian and fourteenth Celebrity run.

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10 comments on this article

  1. Felix Grey says:
    Sat 24 Aug Reply !

    I’m not sure who else there was in the casting pool, but I’m a tad concerned about who goes in and how they’re relate. They all seem sort of self-appointed pseudo-Celebs, coming out with hack-phrases like “Airtime”, and talking about things like media deals and stuff like that. These people really don’t relate at all to a good 90% of the viewers.

    How explosive do you want to make the show.. really? These people at best are safe-bet, hard-done-by luvvies already with more than an average stakeholder in ‘the game’. Does BB really want to avoid negative headlines or headlines altogether?

    The most important factor in the show is finding people who do not appear contentious when comparing them against the mirror of some London-centric middle class looking-glass, but people who are dysfunctional within their own social nexus rather than the product of it. I guarantee the show will have more ‘edge’ and feel like a train-crash waiting to happen almost constantly… like the show is actually dangerous to the safety and security of everyone touched by it. Relying on peoples backstories and personally concoted legends.. I would suggest that casting the net deeper rather than wider would harvest more “idiosyncratic” contestants…. if you get my meaning.

  2. Loyal_BBFan says:
    Sat 24 Aug Reply !

    I hope BB and CBB is on Channel 5 for more then 10 years! :grin: :up:

    I love watching BB and CBB its a brillant, entertaining and addictive show. :grin:

  3. Sarah says:
    Sat 24 Aug Reply !

    @Loyal_BBFan hear hear loyal bb fan :up:

  4. Scott says:
    Sun 25 Aug Reply !

    I know the figures are awful compared to C4, but they’re still good all things considered. I can probably see the normal series lasting about another two years and then after that I think it’d be hit or miss. I also think next year they’ll scrap the second Celebrity series, since it seems to be getting less popular with the GP.

  5. Loyal_BBFan says:
    Sun 25 Aug Reply !

    Ben Frow talking about BB!

    Video clip:

  6. Loyal_BBFan says:
    Sun 25 Aug Reply !

    @Sarah: Thankyou! :D Hope BB will be on Channel 5 for a long time! If it was up to me BB would never end! lol :D

  7. Loyal_BBFan says:
    Sun 25 Aug Reply !

    The smiley faces don’t seem to work! :(

    When I reply to someone it doesn’t work! When I vote on the voting poll and I press the refresh button my vote has not been counted! :(

    Not sure weather its my laptop or not?

  8. Yogi says:
    Sun 25 Aug Reply !

    So far I’m bored with this series line-up. No one is standing out.

    Don’t flog a dead horse!

  9. irene pearson says:
    Sun 25 Aug Reply !

    Does anyone watch Channel 5 ?

  10. Steeeve says:
    Wed 28 Aug Reply !

    As I just said to my friend there, you don’t just get rid of Big Brother.
    It is like chopping your thumb off because it is cold and inflexible due to said coldness. Just heat it up a little.
    Chopping that thumb off was bad for channel4, even if the ratings were getting progressively lower. They never even bothered to spice it up towards the end, really. (they did try to pull a BBUS on us, though. pls no, no, pls)

    Smart man he is to be planning that far ahead. Always a good thing. Sounds like he knows his stuff.

    One thing I would love to see them take a stab at again is live challenges.
    And they could split the budget 75:25 between the weekly:live challenges. (and a party afterwards for winning)
    Saturday is a bad day for it. Why they thought Saturday was a good idea is beyond me. I know a lot of people spend Saturdays in, but a good chunk of the audience, the younger adult types from 18-25, they would be out often. (even now in this recession)
    Eh, I dunno, they probably have a better idea of days to schedule it on since they have more accurate numbers. (well, “accurate”, BARB is as accurate as a shotgun from a mile away, as are all of the viewership systems pretty much)

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