Based on the Original Dutch Version created by Endemol, the show sees a number of different Housemates, divided by gender, social backgrounds and geographical locations locked up together in a House, where the viewing Public can watch them twenty-four hours a day, and vote them out of the House as they choose to. The housemates live in isolation from the outside world in a house custom built with everyday objects, like fridges and a garden.
The house also includes cameras and microphones in most of the rooms to record all of the activity in the house. The only place where Housemates can be away from the other contestants is in the Diary Room, where they can confess their true feelings.
The winner is the last contestant remaining in the house, and receives a large cash prize. Housemates are evicted weekly throughout the show by the viewing public. The show's name comes from George Orwell's 1948 novel 1984, a dystopia in which Big Brother is the all-seeing, omnipotent leader of Oceania.
The Gala (Eviction & Nomination Show) is presented by Mercedes Milá on Thursdays, the weekly Debate show is presented by Jordi González on Sundays with main highlights from the previous day being shown daily, and for Gran Hermano 16: Última hora (last minute) is presented by Jordi González on the set and Lara Álvarez from the editorial office on Tuesdays. Gran Hermano became an instant success reaching over ten million on its first two seasons. It has had a total of eighteen completed main seasons, seven celebrity seasons, and five spin-off seasons.
After the seventh VIP season was completed, Telecinco announced that Gran Hermano would be axed after a controversy from the eighteen civilian edition of the show.
As of January 2020, 31 editions of the show have aired (18 regular seasons, 7 VIP seasons, and 6 spin-off seasons).