Confirmed: Channel 5 renews Big Brother UK until 2018

5 comments - Posted on March 19 2015 at 12:55pm

Channel 5 logo - Big Brother 2011

Channel 5 has today confirmed that it has renewed Big Brother UK for three more years, keeping it on our screens until the end of 2018.

After months of speculation over the show’s future, the broadcaster has officially announced a lengthy extension of its rights deal with production company Endemol Shine UK.

Under the terms of the agreement, C5 will continue to air one ‘civilian’ and two Celebrity editions of the format every year, as well as all associated spin-off programming.

This means that BBUK is now guaranteed to remain on air for nineteen years, encompassing nineteen regular and 22 Celebrity series.

Paul Dunthorne, C5’s chief operating officer – who negotiated the agreement – said: “Big Brother in all its guises brings a huge and varied cross section of viewers to Channel 5 and typifies the appointment-to-view programming we want on the channel.

“It remains one of TV’s most talked about and popular programmes and I’m genuinely delighted we’ve secured it for at least three more years.”

Nick Samwell-Smith, creative director of Endemol Shine subsidiary Initial added: “Channel 5 is a fantastic home for Big Brother. Over the past four years we’ve worked closely together to keep this extraordinary format feeling fresh, noisy, and creatively vibrant.

“I’m thrilled that this landmark deal means we can look forward to three more years of big characters and juicy storylines from inside our favourite house.”

The news marks the first official clarification of C5’s Big Brother rights deal since the network was taken over by American media giant Viacom last September.

It also follows the ratings success of the most recent Celebrity run – which became C5’s highest rating to date, averaging 3.08million viewers in January this year.

Repeats of the nightly episodes also fared well on satellite channel MTV, outperforming its all-day average audience among 16-34’s by 20%. According to C5, over 21million viewers watched the series at least once across all Viacom-owned channels.

Previous rumours suggested that Viacom was preparing to scale back the show – with one report claiming that it could be moved to an 11pm timeslot, while Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman stated that he was wary of taking it “too far”.

Although Big Brother continues to perform well, it is increasingly attracting criticism from fans for abandoning the principles of its original format – such as the famous ‘no contact with the outside world’ rule.

Recent Celebrity runs have seen housemates granted contact with outsiders for work commitments – including Rylan Clark, who left the house to rehearse for a tour, and Perez Hilton, who was given showbiz news stories so he could record episodes of his radio show.

Producers have also come under fire for enacting different nominations twists every week and meddling with gameplay. Controversy erupted during last summer’s series when Ashleigh Coyle was nominated for an eviction, despite being promised immunity.

Bosses recently announced an increased £150,000 prize fund for the civilian version, which is expected to return in June.

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5 comments on this article

  1. Courtney says:
    Thu 19 Mar Reply !

    Just a minor clarification (and I mean minor); 2000-2018 is in fact 18 years, despite the fact it will be airing its 19th season.

  2. Brekkie says:
    Thu 19 Mar Reply !

    Good news for people who don’t care what they’re watching, bad news for the true fans of Big Brother. Sadly I can only see the show getting worse the longer it remains on C5, whoever the owners are.

    The fact they’re continuing with the summer celeb series, which unlike the winter version sees very little uplift on the civilian series, shows they’re not learning from their mistakes.

  3. Loyal_BBFan says:
    Fri 20 Mar Reply !

    WOOHOO YAY I’ve been waiting for this news and glad they have renewed the BB contract. :grin:

    I just hope they pick better housemates for the next BB and hope the housemates are a mix of different ages and different from each other. I also hope they pick housemates who don’t have agents.

    I also hope there will be some Live Feed even through I know there won’t be 24/7 Live Feed.

    Can’t wait until BB starts and CBB too. :grin:

  4. Sam2 says:
    Fri 20 Mar Reply !


    Yup. Four years ago I would’ve been jumping off the walls and fist pumping the air upon hearing that it was going to be extended until 2018. But the sad reality is I just don’t feel anything for the Channel 5 version of the show, and as a result I’m rather indifferent as to whether they’re extending it or axing it. Which is a shame.

    Now-a-days I don’t even make it to the end of the series any more, which would have been unheard of with BB 1-11 (well, except BB10). The last series that I finished watching to the end was the Luisa one and I’m now beginning to think that was just a one-off. It’s not due to being bored with the Big Brother concept, because that I still love and with the exception of the last series of Big Brother Australia, BBAUS has always been awesome too. Also when I re-watch previous Channel 4 series I still find them amazing, so the problem really is how they’re producing Big Brother now.

    However, I can’t figure out whether it’s deliberate or not. Have Channel 5 told Endemol they want them to produce a version of the show that is targeted at people who like depressing programs like Eastenders and Jeremy Kyle? That’s not a dig BTW, I’m being serious. Advertisers call the shots and maybe that’s who Channel 5’s advertisers want to target?

    Or is the budget just too low to produce a good show now-a-days? I mean they’ve cut the budget to the point they’re now working out of portacabins, task quality is really dire, etc. It seems that every possible way to cut costs has been implemented, so I guess that also means not being able to afford the best creative talent to produce the show anymore. And if there is any decent talent, they don’t have any budget to do anything with their ideas anyway, so they just resort to creating conflict all the time as it’s easy and costs nothing. Who knows.

    I find it quite incredibly how a show can go from what was pretty much the only TV show I’ve ever been obsessed with and religiously watch, to something so flat and uninspiring in such a short period of time. Or maybe it has always been bad, but because we were watching the housemates on live feed all the time, we didn’t notice just how bad the highlights show actually was on it’s own…

    The thing is, fans have always criticized Big Brother, Endemol, the producers, etc. when the show is on, particularly when it comes to them meddling (in fact ‘armchair producing’ from home was part-and-parcel of the show), but it was still always good TV and come the end of the series everyone was on a huge downer that the series had ended and were eagerly waiting for the next series to start so that Big Brother was back on their TV screens again, like the addicts we were. But, now it’s different, the fan criticism of the show is dead serious.

    I apologise to those who actually like the show in it’s current format, just ignore those of us who yearn for the Big Brother show it used to be. The following person put it much more creatively and eloquently than I could, but this is exactly what I mean. He/She gets it.

  5. Brekkie says:
    Fri 20 Mar Reply !

    You put it pretty damn well yourself.

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