This article is about the English Version in the United States. For the Spanish Version, see Gran Hermano USA.
Big Brother is a popular international reality show franchise with an American version owned by CBS.
How it Works
Big Brother is a reality television show in which a group of people live together in a large house, isolated from the outside world but continuously watched by television cameras. Each series lasts for around three months, and there are 10-17 participants. The housemates try to win a cash prize by avoiding periodic evictions from the house.
While most versions of Big Brother feature evictions that are voted on by polling television audiences over the phone or the internet, the American version shifted before Big Brother 2 to play off the popularity of Survivor and changed the format to have the other house guests evict players.
Retrieved from CBS
BIG BROTHER follows a group of people living together in a house outfitted with dozens of high-definition cameras and microphones recording their every move, 24 hours a day. Each week, the houseguests will vote someone out of the house. At the end, the last remaining houseguest will receive the grand prize of $500,000.
The idea for the show is said to come during a brainstorm session at the production house of John de Mol Produkties (an independent part of Endemol) on 4 September 1997. The first Big Brother broadcast was in the Netherlands in 1999 on the Veronica TV channel. It was picked up by Germany, Portugal, USA, UK, Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland and Italy the following year and became a worldwide sensation. Since then it has been a prime-time hit in almost 70 countries. The show's name comes from George Orwell's 1948 dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
As of Big Brother 21 (US), a total of 307 people have participated across 22 main broadcast seasons (272 players), one digital season (12 new players), and two celebrity seasons (23 players). As of Big Brother 22 (US), 40 players from the main broadcast seasons returned to play the game again, including one who crossed over to the digital season. Of those 40 players, six of them returned to play for a third time, while one of those six then went on to play the game for a fourth time. That marks 47 times those 40 players returned overall.
Nine other players were eligible to play the game again but ultimately did not make it in again, either due to losing a fan vote, or in the case of Big Brother 11 (US), having their Clique lose the opening challenge. One player had two chances to play again but failed to enter both times. In Big Brother 1 (US), one woman was given the chance to enter the game late but ultimately did not enter.
Two contestants are connected to Celebrity Big Brother (UK), with one who originated on Big Brother 16 (US) crossing over to Celebrity Big Brother 18 (UK), while one who originated on Celebrity Big Brother 20 (UK) crossed over to Celebrity Big Brother 1 (US). Another contestant was eligible to participate in Big Brother Canada 4, but did not get voted in.
Usually the contestants are all strangers who are meeting each other for the first time when they move in, but in some seasons, twists have been implemented where at least two contestants know each other before entering the house, whether through a friendship, current or past relationship, or a familial connection. Not counting Returning Players or celebrity contestants, houseguests who have a pre-existing relationship hail from the following seasons: Big Brother 4 (US) through Big Brother 9 (US), Big Brother 17 (US), Big Brother: Over The Top and Big Brother 21 (US).
List of Returning Players
|Season||Returned to Future Season||Season||Returned to Future Season|
|Most recent season
Most recent returnee season
|Big Brother (US) Seasons|
|Season||Season Run||Days||HouseGuests||Winner||Runner-Up||Final Vote|
Big Brother 1 (US)
|July 5, 2000 -
September 29, 2000
Big Brother 2 (US)
|July 5, 2001 -
September 20, 2001
Big Brother 3 (US)
|July 10, 2002 -
September 25, 2002
Big Brother 4 (US)
|July 8, 2003 -
September 24, 2003
Big Brother 5 (US)
|July 6, 2004 -
September 21, 2004
Big Brother 6 (US)
|July 7, 2005 -
September 20, 2005
Big Brother 7 (US)
|July 6, 2006 -
September 12, 2006
Big Brother 8 (US)
|July 5, 2007 -
September 18, 2007
Big Brother 9 (US)
|February 12, 2008 -
April 27, 2008
Big Brother 10 (US)
|July 13, 2008 -
September 16, 2008
Big Brother 11 (US)
|July 9, 2009 -
September 15, 2009
Big Brother 12 (US)
|July 8, 2010 -
September 15, 2010
Big Brother 13 (US)
|July 4, 2011 -
September 14, 2011
Big Brother 14 (US)
|July 12, 2012 -
September 19, 2012
Big Brother 15 (US)
|June 26, 2013 -
September 18, 2013
Big Brother 16 (US)
|June 25, 2014 -
September 24, 2014
Big Brother 17 (US)
|June 24, 2015 -
September 23, 2015
Big Brother 18 (US)
|June 22, 2016 -
September 21, 2016
Big Brother: Over The Top
|September 28, 2016 -
December 1, 2016
Big Brother 19 (US)
|June 28, 2017 -
September 20, 2017
Celebrity Big Brother 1 (US)
|February 7 - 25, 2018||26||1115||6-3|
Big Brother 20 (US)
|June 27, 2018 -
September 26, 2018
Celebrity Big Brother 2 (US)
|January 21, 2019 -
February 13, 2019
Big Brother 21 (US)
|June 25, 2019 -
September 25, 2019
Big Brother 22 (US)
|August 5, 2020 -
October 28, 202018
Big Brother 23 (US)
|Summer 2021||To Be Announced||To Be Determined|
|^1 The viewing public decided the winner of the season, voting between a Final Three instead of a Final Two.|
^2 Eight houseguests entered the house, followed by five houseguests that were ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends of five people from the original eight.
Note: For a simpler version, click here
|Big Brother (US) Average Viewers Per Season|
|Season||Premiere Date||Finale Date||Avg Viewers
|Big Brother 1||July 5, 2000||September 29, 2000||9.10||70||CBS|
|Big Brother 2||July 5, 2001||September 20, 2001||7.90||30|
|Big Brother 3||July 10, 2002||September 25, 2002||8.70||33|
|Big Brother 4||July 8, 2003||September 24, 2003||8.80|
|Big Brother 5||July 6, 2004||September 21, 2004||8.30||31|
|Big Brother 6||July 7, 2005||September 20, 2005||7.24||30|
|Big Brother 7||July 6, 2006||September 12, 2006||7.56||28|
|Big Brother 8||July 5, 2007||September 18, 2007||7.52||33|
|Big Brother 9||February 12, 2008||April 27, 2008||6.56|
|Big Brother 10||July 13, 2008||September 16, 2008||6.72||29|
|Big Brother 11||July 9, 2009||September 15, 2009||7.19||30|
|Big Brother 12||July 8, 2010||September 15, 2010||7.76|
|Big Brother 13||July 4, 2011||September 14, 2011||7.95||29|
|Big Brother 14||July 12, 2012||September 19, 2012||6.79||30|
|Big Brother 15||June 26, 2013||September 18, 2013||6.47||36|
|Big Brother 16||June 25, 2014||September 24, 2014||6.41||40|
|Big Brother 17||June 24, 2015||September 23, 2015||6.18|
|Big Brother 18||June 22, 2016||September 21, 2016||5.78||42|
|Big Brother: Over The Top||September 28, 2016||December 1, 2016||N/A||10||CBS All-Access|
|Big Brother 19||June 28, 2017||September 20, 2017||6.06||39||CBS|
|Celebrity Big Brother 1||February 7, 2018||February 25, 2018||5.05||13|
|Big Brother 20||June 27, 2018||September 26, 2018||5.41||40|
|Celebrity Big Brother 2||January 21, 2019||February 13, 2019||4.40||13|
|Big Brother 21||June 25, 2019||September 25, 2019||4.27||40|
|Big Brother 22||August 5, 2020||October 28, 2020||3.94||37|
|Key:||Increase in Viewership||Decrease in Viewership|
|Live Feeds||AOL||RealNetworks||CBS All-Access|
- Big Brother US is the first international franchise to move away from the original format of Big Brother.
- Big Brother US used to have a theme song entitled "Live" performed by Jonathan Clarke. However it was only used in the show's first season and was dropped after major changes to the production and format took place before the second season started.
- The theme song was then adopted by Big Brother Brazil in 2002 and was translated in Portuguese. The Portuguese version of the song has been in use since and is used as the music in the series' opening billboard.
- The current 2-story Big Brother House is the second incarnation of the house and was first used in Big Brother 6 (US). The first five seasons used the original house with only one story and used to be located a few blocks away from the current house.
- Big Brother House is the first Big Brother franchise to use a two-story house.
- From Big Brother 2 (US) up to Big Brother 14 (US), the show's studio stage featured different set backgrounds every season. From Big Brother 15 (US) up to Big Brother 21 (US) front of house stage remained the same, before the next major redesign in Big Brother 22 (US).
- It wasn't until Big Brother 10 (US) where a live audience started appearing on the show's studio set. Prior to that, the houseguests got evicted without an audience to welcome them but the host, Julie Chen.
- As of Big Brother 22, only two winners were voted by the American viewers, Eddie McGee of Big Brother 1 and Morgan Willett of Big Brother: Over The Top.
- In every season to feature a male-female Final Two, the male HouseGuest has won, up until Big Brother 18 (US), where Nicole Franzel beat out Paul Abrahamian by one vote. Coincidentally, every season after that, main or spin-off, the female HouseGuest has always won against the male, up until Big Brother 21 (US).
- There have been 15 men and 10 women who have won Big Brother.
- Dan Gheesling, Tamar Braxton and Cody Calafiore are the only winners to win with a unanimous Jury vote.
- Dan and Cody are the only winners to play a Perfect Game.
- Dan is also the first person to reach the Final Two twice, followed by Paul and Cody.
- Curtis Kin and Kryssie Ridolfi are the only people to place 3rd and still be eligible finalists to win the season.
|Big Brother Franchises|
|Africa||Africa · Angola · Nigeria · South Africa|
|Americas||Argentina · Brazil · Canada (Quebec) · Colombia · Ecuador · Mexico · Pacific · Panama · Peru · United States (Spanish)|
|Asia-Pacific||Arab States · Australia · China · India · Indonesia · Israel · Philippines · Russia · Thailand · Vietnam · Turkey|
|Europe||Albania · Balkans · Belgium · Bulgaria · Croatia · Czech Republic · Denmark · Finland · France (Loft) · Germany · Greece · Hungary (Való Világ) · Italy · Lithuania · Netherlands · Norway · Poland · Portugal (Secret) · Romania · Scandinavia · Slovakia · Slovenia · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland · United Kingdom · Ukraine|