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The network will mount an all-star season of the long-running reality competition starting Aug. 5. The show will kick off with a two-hour live episode as the contestants move into the house and stick to its three-times-a-week air schedule with episodes on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday.
The premiere will come about seven weeks later than the show’s usual late-June start date. Production was delayed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, but Big Brother will still be among the first shows back on the air with in-studio production (CBS’ daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful began airing new episodes Monday).
The production will follow specific health and safety protocols amid the pandemic. Contestants will be quarantined and tested for COVID-19 multiple times before filming begins, then tested weekly once the season begins. They won’t have any contact with crew members, and all supplies delivered to the house will be disinfected.
Live eviction shows on Thursdays will also take place without an audience. Host Julie Chen Moonves is set to return.
All staff and crew will be tested prior to starting work on the season and screened daily for symptoms. They’ll be required to wear personal protective equipment and work in pods to ensure physical distancing. The show will also have a COVID-19 compliance officer on staff to monitor and enforce health and safety protocols.
The all-star season will be the first for Big Brother since 2006. Castmembers will be revealed closer to air, but CBS says the season will feature “winners, finalists, legends, memorable personalities and some of the best never to win the game.”
The date for Big Brother comes on the heels of CBS also preparing to start production on season two of Love Island in Las Vegas, with the goal of a late-summer premiere.
A typical season of Big Brother lasts about three months, which would take the show into the fall and help fill out hours in an uncertain primetime schedule. The network will have a completed season of The Amazing Race — which is taking Survivor‘s spot on the schedule as the latter hasn’t been able to restart production — but hasn’t ramped up production on its scripted shows yet. CBS Entertainment chief Kelly Kahl told The Hollywood Reporter in May that it’s “highly unlikely” the network will have a traditional fall rollout this season.
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