Big Brother is the popular reality show where a group of strangers live together in a house for three months without privacy and with seclusion from the outside world.
Each week, the houseguests compete in challenges in order to win power and luxuries. The first competition of the week is the Head of Household Competition. The Head of Household (HOH) holds the power to nominate two people for eviction that week and receives their own private room and bathroom as well as a letter from home and safety from eviction for that week. After the HOH nominates two of their fellow houseguests, the HOH, the two nominees and three more players chosen by random draw compete in the Power of Veto Competition. The player that holds the Power of Veto has the power to remove one person from nominations. If the Power of Veto is used, the HOH must nominate one other person. Then, the houseguests (except the two nominees and the HOH) vote for which nominee they wish to leave the house. The nominee with the most votes is evicted that week.
Each season there is a twist, or something that makes that season different from every other season. The twists started in season four, which had several of the houseguests exes come into the house to play the game with them. One of the most recurring twists in Big Brother is a previously evicted houseguest returning to the game to compete again. This has happened in season three, season six, season nine (this happened twice, once due to Neil Garcia quitting during the Soulmate stage and another as a twist), season thirteen, season fifteen, season sixteen, season seventeen and season eighteen where Victor Arroyo became the first houseguest to be evicted three times in the same season.
In season five, the twist was called Project DNA: Do Not Assume. Two houseguests, Nakomis and Michael were biological siblings that were separated at a young age. Another houseguest, Adria, had an identical twin sister, Natalie, and they would switch places inside the house from time to time. Eventually, Natalie and Adria were both allowed into the house. Adria & Natalie are better known as "The Fitness Twins".
In season six, every person in the house knew another houseguest from outside the house. The houseguests were told that if they made it to the end with their secret partner, they would win a larger prize than the previous winners, but the final two houseguests weren't partners.
Season seven was Big Brother All-Stars. Previous houseguests came back to play again.
In season eight, several of the houseguests were arch-enemies with another houseguest. Two were ex-partners, two were father and daughter that had stopped talking and another two were enemies since high school. Although the father and daughter (Dick and Daniele) were enemies, they set their feelings aside and they both made it to the final two.
In season nine, each houseguest was partnered with another houseguest and they won competitions as one and were nominated and evicted as one. This was done so that the season would end quickly since it was aired during the winter due to writer's strike.
In season ten, there was no twist, the game was played normally.
In season eleven, the houseguests were split into teams, based on high school cliques (Popular, Offbeat, Athletes and Brains). The cliques were all given three members to be potentially led by a returning contestant from previous seasons: Jessica Hughbanks (BB8) for Popular, Michael "Cowboy" Ellis (BB5) for Offbeat, Jessie Godderz (BB10) for Athletes and Brian Hart (BB10) for Brains. Godderz returned to the game when the Athletes won the first HoH competition.
In season twelve, the houseguests were told that there was a Saboteur in the house that would make life difficult for the houseguests and do things to irritate and annoy them. The saboteur was evicted in the first week so halfway through another houseguest was offered the chance to be the saboteur, which he accepted and did.
In season thirteen, the houseguests had to choose a partner. The HOH partners would nominate one partners and the non-evicted houseguest would be safe for the next couple of weeks. Several past duos came into the house as well including Dick and Daniele from Season 8, Rachel and Brendan, two people that met in Season 12 and fell in love and Jeff and Jordan, two people that met in Season 11 and started dating.
In season fourteen, the houseguests were divided into teams and were coached by one of four previous players (Dan from Season 10, Janelle from Seasons 6 and 7, Mike "Boogie" from Seasons 2 and 7 and Britney from Season 12). The coaches eventually came back into the game as players.
In season fifteen, there would be a third nominee that was nominated in secret by a player called the MVP (most valuable player). The MVP was chosen by the watchers that voted for their favorite. After the same person was MVP for three weeks, America voted for who they wanted to become the MVP nominee.
In season sixteen, there are two HOH's and four nominees. The four nominees play in a competition called the Battle of the Block (BOB) and the losing nominees remain on the block.
In season eighteen, the coach twist from season fourteen returned except that the coaches automatically started in the game with their teammates (The coaches were James Huling from Season 17, Nicole Franzel from Season 15, Da'Vonne Rogers from Season 15 and Frank Eudy from Season 14.) The MVP twist also returned but was changed to BB Roadkill where the players competed in a challenge inside of an RV to win and nominate a player in secret. There were also other twists such as Battle Back (done in the style of Redemption Island from Survivor) where the first five eliminated players would battle each other in one-on-one competitions to earn the right to re-enter the house, the Round Trip Ticket where players were given an envelope after the discovery of the secret room and the player evicted with the Round Trip ticket would re-enter, the first five jury members competing alongside the remaining players to re-enter and the Care Packages where America would vote for players to receive certain advantages in the game which were: a Never Not Pass, Eliminate Two Eviction Votes, Super Safety, Co-HoH and a BB Bribe of $5,000.
In season nineteen, the houseguests were tempted with $25,000 at the beginning of the game. If anyone accepted the money, Season 18 runner-up Paul Abrahamian would return to the game and replace another player, eventually replacing houseguest Cameron Heard. Another twist was the Den of Temptation where America could vote on a player to receive a prize: If the houseguest accepted the prize, it would cause consequences for another houseguest, similar to Pandora's Box. The Battle Back also returned where the first 4 evicted houseguests competed in two rounds (2 vs. 2, 1 vs. 1) for the right to re-enter the game, except with a change: The winning houseguest had to compete against an active houseguest to return. After Jessica Graf used the Halting Hex, a power that stopped an eviction, a new twist was unleashed called the Temptation Competition. It was a player's choice to compete: The winner would become immune for the week while the loser went up as an automatic third nominee that could not be replaced. This twist lasted for three weeks. At the Final 8, a new twist called the Tree of Temptation appeared in the house for three weeks. Whenever the tree turned red, the player had to go into the Diary Room to accept to take an apple. Mark Jansen was the only houseguest to accept an apple, revealed to be the Save-a-Friend which he used on Paul.
The houseguests are evicted one-by-one until only two remain. Then the evicted houseguests vote for which of the remaining two houseguests they want to win and the one with the most votes wins the grand prize of $500,000.
- Season 1: Eddie McGee
- Season 2: Will Kirby
- Season 3: Lisa Donahue
- Season 4: Jun Song
- Season 5: Drew Daniel
- Season 6: Maggie Ausburn
- Season 7: Mike "Boogie" Malin
- Season 8: Dick Donato
- Season 9: Adam Jasinski
- Season 10: Dan Gheesling
- Season 11: Jordan Lloyd
- Season 12: Hayden Moss
- Season 13: Rachel Reilly
- Season 14: Ian Terry
- Season 15: Andy Herren
- Season 16: Derrick Levasseur
- Season 17: Steve Moses
- Season 18: Nicole Franzel
- Season 19: Josh Martinez
- Season 20: Kaycee Clark
- Season 21: Jackson Michie
- Season 22: Cody Calafiore
- Season 23: Xavier Prather
All Access Series
- Over the Top (Season 1): Morgan Willett
Celebrity Big Brother Series
Big Brother: After Dark
Big Brother: After Dark is a late night, live feed from the popular CBS reality show where it gives fans a much more intimate, late-night look at life in the big brother house where the show features a curated live television feed from inside the house where nothing is sacred and anything goes. The series originally aired on Showtime 2 from 2007 until 2012. Currently, it airs on POP (formerly TV Guide Channel/Network and Prevue) since 2013.
The Glass House Controversy
On May 4, 2012, CBS warned ABC not to air The Glass House due to its strong similarities to this series. In which a group of contestants (referred to as "House Guests") live in a house while constantly being monitored with cameras and microphones. CBS stated in the letter to ABC President Anne Sweeney that they would seek legal action if the network went forward with airing The Glass House. The network also criticize the fact that their series was also being produced by at least nineteen former producers and staff from Big Brother Including: Corie Henson, Kenny Rosen and Mike O'Sullivan. On May 10, 2012, CBS went forward with the lawsuit against ABC. The network has stated numerous times that they were attempting to get the show's premiere halted, however, the premiere of the show still aired. On August 17, 2012; CBS dropped the suit citing low viewership for ABC as the reason. On August 20, 2013, the network settled the dispute and will be receiving financial compensation.
TPIR Primetime Special (2016)
On May 24, 2016, the show was paired up with The Price is Right as one of their "Primetime Specials" (as both of them air on CBS).
Places that have done their own versions of Big Brother include:
- Albania and Kosovo
- Angola and Mozambique
- Arab World
- Canada (both in English and French)
- Czech Republic
- Greece and Cyprus
- Netherlands (country that originated the program)
- Pacific Region
- South Africa
- United Kingdom