UK terrestrial broadcaster Channel 5 (C5) has confirmed it is to pick up Big Brother, the pioneering reality format dropped by rival broadcaster Channel 4 last year, returning the format to British TV screens later this year.
The deal will see C5 hold the exclusive rights to the series in a two year deal and, according to UK press reports, will land Endemol an estimated £200 million (US$325.4 million).
The new network will air a celebrity version of the format later this summer, followed by a new series featuring members of the public. The series will be filmed in its original home of Elstree Film Studios, and produced by Endemol UK production arm Initial.
Big Brother is one of the world’s most successful reality brands, having had 19 series aired across 81 territories in 2010.
Jeff Ford, C5′s director of programmes, said the format “will form a key part” of the network’s schedule this year. “The series has previously captivated a decade of television viewers and we aim to bring C5′s energy, optimism and vibrancy to the series.”
C5′s head of factual entertainment Steve Gowans will oversee the series for the network, while at Initial the series will be overseen by creative director Nick Samwell-Smith and MD Laurence Jones.