9:00am PT by Brian Porreca
'Big Brother' Team Reveals Season 19's Summer of Temptation
Big Brother season 19 is almost here, and on June 28 all will be revealed.
The fresh batch of 16 new houseguests were announced on Monday and their interviews with The Hollywood Reporter were released on Tuesday. As the old saying goes, all good things come in threes because now it's time to take an inside look at the house.
THR spent some time in the newest house with host Julie Chen and executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan and got some answers to some of the biggest burning questions for the new season.
Below, Chen, Grodner and Meehan reveal this summer's temptation twist, how the no napping rule from Big Brother: Over the Top will be coming back, how the roadkill competition won't and much more.
Right now there are two nomination chairs and last year in the beginning of the season there were three. Will we see three nominees again?
Grodner: You never know! We've played with three, two and have actually had four at one point. It's always possible that twists can lead to more than two nominees.
Chen: I always say expect the unexpected! We'll see. I'm tricking you right now. It's a misdirect. That's how we do things around here. But the theme is about temptation this summer. That's why throughout the house you're going to see apples and where there's an apple you're going to find a serpent or two.
Chen: A snake is a houseguest! (Laughs.)
Fans called last season's winner Nicole Franzel a snake. Did she inspire that?
Grodner: Did Nicole inspire the serpent? No! (Laughs!) There are some people that definitely weren't Nicole fans last season and obviously there are some people that were.
Meehan: Lots of people could be called snakes on Big Brother. The theme is all about temptation.
Grodner: I bet you we could go through every year and there's one in every season. That does lend itself a bit to the idea that there's always the snake that's going to stab you in the back when you least expect it. And then there are those dangerous snakes that are right in the open! (Laughs.) They exist along with the others who are trying to play by their word.
Meehan: You have to have all types to make it a fun summer.
What else can you say about the twist this year?
Meehan: It's a summer of temptation! Not only does the house represent that, but the rooms carry through with some of those themes and we're bringing that all the way through with the twists of the game this summer as well. With temptation there are lots of different paths the season could go on depending on which temptations the houseguests take. We've never done anything quite like that throughout the course of the season. So we have plans and backup plans for all different things.
Grodner: Which door? Door number one or door number two? Because door number one will take you down a whole different path and we have to produce it that way too. We have to be prepared. On opening night we have two different scripts and two different possibilities depending on what's going to happen.
Meehan: We've never done that before.
What do you mean by that?
Grodner: There will be choices like a Pandora's Box leads to some choices. Will you take the temptation? And if you do it will have a consequence. If you turn it down then something else will happen.
Meehan: It's a different reality in the house.
Grodner: On opening night there's a series of temptations that will be presented to the houseguests and that means there's a series of different ways things can play out.
In past seasons in competitions there have been temptations also. Will that be back too?
Grodner: Yeah. There are some common themes on the wall over there that play out in this house. Obviously everyone here is here to win the money at the end and can be tempted by money. But there are other things too like game items for safety and the ability to do things. We've taken that and multiplied it.
Meehan: There will be some things that are familiar and other things that are totally unique and random that we've never done and I don't think you would think we would do.
Will there be as many competitions as season 18's premiere?
Grodner: The temptations create a bit of a different format for the premiere night, but it is a two-hour special event. It's going to be a very busy night full of lots of surprises and twists and turns. I know it sounds like we say that a lot, but it's fair to say we are guaranteeing it for the premiere.
Meehan: There's definitely competitions, but it depends on what pathway we go down.
Grodner: It's actually possible that a competition could be in the backyard ready to go and our art department has worked really hard to put it out there and the houseguests don't play it because of a decision they made.
Chen: I preferred Morgan. She had this exterior where you thought she was going to be one way, but she to me was wicked smart at playing this game. She had her head in the game and that was impressive. And she wasn't a phony and I liked that. I don't like phonies. You can play this game and play people, but you can't be a back-stabber. That's just to me, weak. I don't like worms.
The houseguests do get ruthless, but we haven't seen an Evel Dick Donato character in a while. Why haven't we seen that type of houseguest again?
Meehan: It's hard to predict if we'll see another one.
Grodner: There have been other people that have done it in different ways. I don't think there will ever be someone who plays this game like Evel Dick. It took his personality and his stamina to do that.
Meehan: You can't pretend to do that. You have to have that in you to go that long and that hard the entire time.
Chen: Evel Dick was one of a kind, let's make no mistake. Looking at this year's [cast] there's one houseguest who has potential to be the villain. People think, "I don't want to come out with America hating me. I don't want to come out with enemies." So they're very media savvy.
Has that become boring at all for you?
Chen: No, because you can't fight human nature. Ego is going to get the best of everyone. You're going to think you can trust someone when you can't. People who come in the Big Brother house have a strong sense of self and often it gets handed to them when they get evicted.
It gets handed to them by you, Julie.
Chen: (Laughs!) And by the public.
The houseguests complain a lot. What are the complaints you get sick of hearing the most?
Grodner: Having to wait so long for a competition in the backyard.
Meehan: Being locked inside for a long time.
Grodner: By the way, I get it. It's very difficult. There's a lot of downtime for these houseguests. They're locked in the house because we do a complete turn around of that backyard and it takes time.
Meehan: We're pretty forgiving when it comes to them complaining.
Chen: After a while some of the houseguests can become a little bit high maintenance so they're going to find everything to be irritating. We don't really show it on the show. How interesting is that? A bunch of whiny houseguests. But we can make a funny story out of it when they complain, complain, complain.
What is there to complain about they have a chance to win half of a million dollars?
Grodner: Yeah! You have a roof over your head, a place to sleep, mostly food, unless you're on slop. For a lot of people it's their dream and I think that's what irritates the fans and what you see on Twitter where people get upset with the houseguests when they bitch about it because they feel like they could be there. You took the spot from someone who really, really wants to be here.
Meehan: On opening night they listen and follow every rule and by day 60 you have to call them to the diary room like 19 times.
Grodner: [And tell them to] put on your microphone. They turn into teenagers by the end.
How many times have you wanted to come into the house and take someone out of the game?
Chen: I've wanted to take people out of the game, but I never want to come into the house. Actually on finale night I don't want to come in because there's this certain smell after three months. It's like stale, heavy and thick. It's like nothing you've ever smelled.
On Big Brother: Over the Top, America had quite the influence. Julie has said she'd like to see that influence be brought over to the broadcast version. Does America have any involvement this season?
Grodner: Certainly, but not as much.
Meehan: We always try to find out what's a really fun, cool, interactive twist that America can take part in. We definitely have a twist that America can take part in, but not to the extent of OTT. OTT was almost a different game and it was played in a different way.
Grodner: It was an interesting experiment to see how much influence you want to give to the audience. That was really pushing it over the edge. If we do it again I think there were some things that worked and some things that didn't when it came to the interactive elements.
Will we see the no napping rule on season 19?
Grodner: What do you think of that? Do you think it worked?
It definitely worked.
Grodner: It helped. I think we should absolutely implement it. No napping! (Laughs.)
Meehan: I'll give you a tease for the Sunday show.
Grodner: There's no roadkill competition.
Meehan: That means there will be new twists to the game in the Sunday show and they can take a couple different forms.
Grodner: The idea is that it may not just be one thing. In the past we've had just the [battle of the block] or just the roadkill on Sundays. Expect that there may be surprises throughout the whole season that take place not only in the whole summer, but specifically on the Sunday show that changes the Sunday show throughout the three months that we're on the air.