Big Brother (Netherlands) is the very first Big Brother franchise.

It created the format in which contestants live in an isolated house trying to avoid being evicted by the public with the aim of a prize at the end.

This Endemol production set the rules for other versions of Big Brother.

The Series

The very first Big Brother House.

Creation of Big Brother

The idea was born on Thursday, 4 September 1997 during a brainstorm session at John de Mol Produkties, an independent part of Endemol. Participants were John de Mol, Patrick Scholtze, Bart Römer and his brother, Paul Römer.[1] The idea called for a luxurious house with six contestants, closed for a year. The winner would receive 1,000,000 guilders. The working title was De Gouden Kooi (The Golden Cage) and the original concept was eventually realized as a reality show on Dutch television at the end of 2006.

The group came up with the idea after the 1991 Biosphere 2 experiment in the Arizona desert, in which eight men and women discovered how hard it is to live together inside an airtight glass and steel geodesic dome that sought to replicate the Earth's environment. Big Brother alternated deprivation with excess.

The format of Big Brother was also influenced by MTV's The Real World, which began in 1992 and originated the concept of putting strangers together for an extended period and recording the drama that ensued. The Real World had introduced "confessions" by housemates. Another pioneering reality format, the Swedish TV show Expedition Robinson, (produced in many countries as Survivor) which first aired in 1997, added to the Real World 's template the idea of competition, in which contestants battled were removed from the show until only one remained.

The first version of Big Brother was broadcast in 1999 on Veronica in the Netherlands. In the first season of Big Brother, the house was very basic. Although essential amenities such as running water, furniture and a limited ration of food were provided, luxury items were often forbidden. This added a survivalist element to the show, increasing the potential for social tension. Nearly all later series provide a modern house for the contest with a jacuzzi, sauna, VIP suite, loft and other luxuries.

In development, occupancy of the house was reduced to 100 days. An existing house was abandoned in favor of a prefabricated house. This made it possible to install "camera-cross", which allowed cameramen inside the house without being seen by the inhabitants. Originally, the idea was to produce a heavily edited weekly program, but after some experiments with the employees of the production house, the allure of slow television was discovered and the potential for a daily program was realized.

The logo for Big Brother was designed to fit the housestyle of Dutch television station Veronica. The wave under both names harkens back to the time that Veronica was a pirate station, broadcasting from international waters off the Netherlands. The wave remained when Veronica left the Holland Media Groep and Big Brother was taken over by Yorin. It showed up in the logos of Big Brother all over the world. However, later versions of Dutch Big Brother at Talpa abandoned the logo and are using the eye-logo introduced with the second series of Big Brother UK.


Big Brother

Big Brother Netherlands Seasons
Season Season Run Days Housemates Winner Runner-Up
Big Brother 1 (Netherlands) September 16, 1999 -
December 30, 1999
106 12
Bart in 't Veld
Ruud Bénard
Big Brother VIP (Netherlands) May 22, 2000 -
June 16, 2000
26 25 None
Big Brother 2 (Netherlands) September 12, 2000 -
December 30, 2000
109 15
Bianca Hagenbeek
Robin Veen
Big Brother 3 (Netherlands) September 6, 2001 -
December 30, 2001
114 17
Sandy Boots
Daniëlle van der Kuij
Big Brother 4 (Netherlands) August 28, 2002 -
December 23, 2002
118 20
Jeanette Godefroy
Margriet Post
Big Brother 5 (Netherlands) August 24, 2005 -
December 22, 2005
121 13
Joost Hoebink
Roel Dietvorst
Hotel Big Brother January 12, 2006 -
March 6, 2006
54 10 None
Big Brother 6 (Netherlands) August 18, 2006 -
November 27, 2006
102 15
Jeroen Visser
Sabrina Mutsers
Big Brother Belgium & Netherlands 1 January 4, 2021 -
April 8, 2021
99 19
Jill Goede
Nick Kraft

Secret Story

Secret Story Netherlands Seasons
Season Season Run Days Housemates Winner Runner-Up
Secret Story Netherlands 1 February 13, 2011 -
May 15, 2011
91 15
Sharon Hooijkaas
Philip Gransjean



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