Formats

Big Brother returning to UK via Five?

Richard Desmond-controlled UK terrestrial Channel 5 (C5) is close to finalizing a deal to bring back landmark reality show Big Brother, according to a report in one of Desmond's newspapers.
January 31, 2011

Richard Desmond-controlled UK terrestrial Channel 5 (C5) is close to finalizing a deal to bring back landmark reality show Big Brother, according to a report in one of Desmond’s newspapers.

Execs at the channel are “at an advanced stage” in discussions with producer Endemol, according to the Daily Star, a tabloid controlled by Desmond. The report comes as presenter Matthew Wright told viewers on C5′s talk show Wright Stuff today that it was “a done deal.”

The reality show has been off air in the UK since rival terrestrial Channel 4 (C4) dropped the format last year, having aired 11 seasons and numerous spin-offs. Despite waning appeal, the show still brought in considerable audiences for C4, averaging 2.9 million viewers across 2010. At its peak in 2004, it averaged 5.1 million.

The news comes after Desmond acquired C5 for £103.5m (US$160.2m) in July of last year. At the time, the Northern & Shell boss wasted no time in announcing that Big Brother was on his “shopping list.” However, initial talks stalled.

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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