Big Brother China launches with twelve-day ‘pilot series’

1 comment - Posted on November 21 2015 at 12:01am

Big Brother China logo

Big Brother will launch for the first time in China today on video website Youku Tudou with a ‘pilot’ series filmed in India earlier this year.

The twelve-day run took place in September in a house used by the Indian version Bigg Boss, located in Lonavala near Mumbai, featuring five male and five female housemates.

The show has its own title in China that translates as ‘Housemates, Let’s Stay Together’ – although its logo (pictured above) does feature Big Brother branding.

Its executive producer is Rebecca De Young, the Head of Content at production company Endemol Shine China, who previously executive produced the eighth series of Big Brother UK.

However, although 400 Bigg Boss crew members worked on the pilot season, the Hollywood Reporter claims that viewers will “never know” about its real filming location.

Ryan Cheung, managing director of Youku Tudou, told the trade magazine that the decision to film abroad was “driven by the available experience and existing infrastructure” of Bigg Boss.

The house was redecorated especially, with furnishings including a knock-off of the iconic golden Diary Room chair from Big Brother 7 UK, a fridge full of alcoholic cocktail drinks provided by sponsor Rio, and even cushions resembling the brand’s bottles.

Browse pictures of the Big Brother China house in our gallery:

The show’s premiere will be a landmark moment for the Big Brother format some sixteen years after it first originated in the Netherlands, as not only will it be the first series to air in the world’s most populous country – home to 1.36billion people – but it will also be the first to air exclusively on an internet platform.

Youku and Tudou, which merged to form one company in 2012, are video websites similar to Netflix and YouTube with an audience of 580million unique users. Last year it was reported that bosses expect around ten million viewers to watch Big Brother.

“China’s youth are moving away from television to online content,” said Cheung, who added that the internet “offers a slightly easier working environment” in terms of state regulation.

The company will adhere to local tastes and laws by self-censoring foul language and rowdy behaviour – as well as any politically sensitive content.

New episodes will be released twice a week over six weeks. As the show was pre-recorded, the public will not have a say in who is evicted, but it is understood that there will be a live final where viewers will choose a winner.

William Tan, managing director of Endemol Shine China, revealed: “We plan to introduce various interactive elements allowing viewers to share their choice for the final winner.”

The pilot edition is expected to be followed by a full series in early 2016.

Watch a trailer for the pilot series of ‘Housemates, Let’s Stay Together’ below:

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1 comment on this article

  1. Brekkie says:
    Sat 21 Nov Reply !

    We really are lucky here in the UK when it comes to product placement. Even since it was introduced it’s been fairly minimal.

    Heck, even the US version has very little compared to some versions – Canada has significantly more but Brazil is one of the worst, almost all their challenges are sponsored. Don’t think they’ve gone as far though as sponsored cushions though!

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