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Thrilled by the big ratings success of particularly the celebrity version of Big Brother, Channel 5 in the U.K. has signed up for two more years of the Endemol-produced show, giving the smallest of the U.K. terrestrial broadcasters exclusive rights to Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother through the end of 2014.
The deal proves that “big brands never die,” said Grant Ross, global head of format acquisitions at Endemol who is at MipTV looking for new format ideas. “Those discussions about reality dying are just not real and brands like Big Brother will be always be here. It’s a real global hit. We are seeing Big Brother coming back in territories like Australia where it is going to be on the Nine Network after not being in that market for four or five years.”
For Channel 5, the Big Brother season in August 2011 was its biggest ratings hit among its commissioned shows in the channel’s 15-year history and it attracts important younger audiences who appeal to advertisers. “We’re hugely excited to have secured the return of Big Brother for Channel 5 which will continue to form a key part our programming schedule,” said Jeff Ford, director of programmes, Channel 5. “The show so far has captivated the energy and vibrancy of the channel and we are looking forward to continuing this successful relationship.”
In addition to the summer run of Big Brother this year, Channel 5 plans a second celebrity series with Brian Dowling as the returning on-air host. The spinoff Bit on the Side show will return as well with host Emma Willis who will be joined by Jamie East. The show will continue to be filmed at Elstree Film Studios produced by Endemol U.K.’s production arm Initial.
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