Germany still wants its 'Big Brother'

RTL 2 commissions 10th season of Reality TV granddad

Cologne, Germany -- Britain's Channel 4 may have sounded the death knell for "Big Brother" but the granddaddy of reality TV formats is still going strong in the U.S. and Germany, where CBS and RTL 2 have re-commissioned the series.

RTL2 has announced a tenth season of the show, to launch in 2010. Big Brother 9, which ran from July-December last year, was a solid ratings success for the channel, drawing audiences some 40% above RTL2's average share.

CBS last week extended the show for a 12th season. The last "Big Brother" series drew an average of 7.1 million viewers across three weekly installments last summer, according to Endemol, the Dutch group that produces the format.

Last month, Channel 4 announced that though it will produce two more seasons of "Big Brother," it will not renew its contract with Endemol when it runs out at the end of next year. Another U.K. is expected to pick up the format, so it is unlikely "Big Brother" will disappear entirely from British screens.

According to Endemol, "Big Brother" has 28 series airing across 67 countries. The show, which features ordinary people living under constant video surveillance, remains a major hit in territories such as Spain, where Telecinco averaged a 25.3% share and 3.5 million viewers for its 11th season and Italy, where the ninth edition averaged 6.6 million viewers and a 29.2% share for Canale 5.