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
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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