The show bills itself as the "Teleserye ng Totoong Buhay" (eng. Real Life Soap Opera) and revolves in a concept of ("showing the real you") or in Filipino, "Pagpapakatotoo".
When the show first aired, it made history as the first-ever reality show produced in the country. Since then, the show has made a huge impact on the history of Philippine reality television, cementing its reputation as the most successful and longest running reality show in the Philippines. Because of it's nationwide success, the show eventually became a household name which led to some contestants becoming public figures after their stay inside the house.
Among the factors for its success is its family-friendly nature which suited well to Filipino ideals, every housemates' characterization and personal growth, as well as the endless wisdom and life lessons shared by Big Brother that resonate to millions of Filipino audiences worldwide.
According to Endemol's via ABS-CBN News, Pinoy Big Brother is the largest and most successful Big Brother franchise throughout Asia and the Pacific, gathering millions of viewers and followers every season.
How it worksBig 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 usually fewer than 15 participants. The housemates try to win a cash prize by avoiding periodic evictions from the house.
Pinoy Big Brother follows the premise of the original international format of the show where in a number of Filipinos will volunteer to live in one house for a certain number of days.
The elimination process in the show is the same among many foreign counterparts which is the reverse of the original Dutch format. At the start of the elimination process, the "housemates" (as the contestants are referred to) vote for which fellow housemates they should eliminate; 2 points will be given to one housemate while 1 point to the other one. Who ever have the highest points will be nominated. Once these nominations are chosen, the viewer votes come into play.
For a week, viewers are asked to vote, via SMS for whoever they wanted to stay longer in the house. The housemate with the least viewer votes is eliminated. In the final week, the one with the most viewer votes will win the grand prize package, usually includes house and lot, a car, a business franchise, home appliances, and a holiday, and is given the title the Big Winner.
Other essential elements of the Big Brother franchise are present, such as weekly and daily challenges, the confession room, and the voice known only as "Big Brother," sometimes referred to as "Kuya" (a Tagalog kinship term for an elder male sibling).
The housemates are chosen via auditions held in different parts of the country and also to various parts of the world where a large population of Filipinos can be found such as California, London,Tokyo, etc.
The application is open to all as long as the person either holds a Filipino citizenship regardless of ethnicity and ancestry or simply just people who have Filipino ancestry no matter where they live in the world. Foreign-born people who currently reside in the Philippines or has moved permanently in the country are also welcomed to apply.
Themed Seasons & Twists
Twists play a major part in the Pinoy Big Brother game as it could drastically affect the gameplay of a certain season. In most seasons, the season revolves around a certain theme and twist which makes each season noticeably different to one another. In every season, multiple twists may also be applied depending on the concept around the season's main theme.
Some notable season themed twists were double houses, rich and poor houses, face to face nominations, mass evictions, fake evictions, housemates entering the house in the middle of the season's duration, all types of housemates living inside one house, show's hosts becoming houseguests and many more.
Some of the notable season themes that appeared in the series are the following:
- Celebrity Housemates: A group of celebrities would become housemates to fight for charity. This theme later turned out into one of the three main edition types in Pinoy Big Brother.
- Teen Housemates: A group of teenagers would become housemates. This theme would also turn out to become one of the three main edition types in Pinoy Big Brother.
- Teen Housemates + Guardians: In Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition Plus, the Teen Housemates entered the house together with a Guardian who lived in an adjacent living quarters called "Plus Base". These guardians have a separate game-play of their own but if their teen housemate relative got evicted, they will also get evicted.
- Multiple Houses: This theme first appeared on Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up featuring two equal-sized houses and two sets of housemates. The Double House theme was carried over to Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010. The theme was used again for Pinoy Big Brother: Unlimited with having three houses reflecting different social status.
- Rich vs Poor: In Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010, the first group of housemates were sorted based on their social status.
- Pinoy vs. Foreigners: Another theme that appeared in Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010 after the Rich vs Poor Housemates were merged, a group of foreign-born housemates came in and fought against the remaining Philippine-born housemates on their place in the finale.
- All In: Considered a Big Brother first, Pinoy Big Brother: All In featured all types of housemates; Celebrities, Teens and Civilians under one house. They competed against each other to win for the season's Big Winner title.
- Dream Team: In the three-part edition season of Pinoy Big Brother 7, the top four finalists of each of the season's edition would return back to the game in a special final edition called Dream Team.
- Official Housemates vs. Star Dreamers: In Pinoy Big Brother 8, the season featured a unique gameplay involving Official Housemates who managed to enter the Big Brother House and Star Dreamers of Camp Star Hunt where in every time an official housemate gets evicted, a Star Dreamer will become an official housemate and cross-over to the Big Brother House to replace the evictee for their slot as an official housemate.
The show has its own permanent timeslot. Pinoy Big Brother is being aired 7 days a week, around 10:00PM PHT on ABS-CBN's primetime block. Nomination Nights are held every Sunday Night, Highlights episodes are aired every weeknights from Mondays to Fridays while Eviction Nights are held at every end of the week on Saturday evenings.
It's companion shows are aired every weekdays. From 2007 - 2010 Pinoy Big Brother Über aired at 4:30PM on ABS-CBN's afternoon block. It was replaced by Pinoy Big Brother: Unlimited's Unliday which focuses on the Industrial House highlights. Since 2014, the daytime companion show was replaced by Pinoy Big Brother Gold aired every 5:00PM PHT on ABS-CBN's afternoon block named Kapamilya Gold.
The series' online companion show Pinoy Big Brother Online airs at 7:00 PM every Mondays to Fridays. A midnight companion show entitled Pinoy Big Brother: Uplate used to air every midnight of the week until the show ended in 2010.
The live feeds are shown everyday and can be seen via subscription on ABS-CBN website. The livesteaming used to be aired for free, however in Pinoy Big Brother: 737 it was shut down temporarily and re-aired with subscription fees due to malicious and indecent posts online made by some viewers regarding the housemates.
In Pinoy Big Brother 8, its companion show returned dubbed as Pinoy Big Brother Otso Gold, which started airing on November 12, 2018 at 5:00pm as part of the ABS-CBN's Kapamilya Gold block, along with it's online show dubbed as PBB Bring 8 On! which can be seen on Pinoy Big Brother Official Facebook page and Pinoy Big Brother Official Youtube Channel.
The Big Brother House
For more information about the house interiors, check out the page Big Brother House/Philippines.
The iconic Big Brother house, also commonly called in Filipino as "Bahay ni Kuya" (lit. Big Brother's House), plays a huge part on the show and became one of the trademarks of the entire Pinoy Big Brother franchise aside from the show's logo.
The house's set-up is that of a bungalow, even though the facade is obviously designed as a two-storey house. In reality, the house is actually a large, fully air-conditioned studio with facade made to look like an ideal middle-class house. The second floor houses a state-of-the-art master control room and several amenities designed for the program's production crew and dressing rooms for the guests and hosts. The leftmost part of the entire facade was designed for another reality show franchise called Pinoy Dream Academy until 2011, when it was entirely replaced as an extended facade in favor of Big Brother.
The interior of the studio is designed to look like a real house with themes and interior design changing for every season of the show. The studio is also designed to capture every "housemate's" activities with state-of-the-art surveillance cameras and microphones. The house is surrounded by walls with two-way mirrors to allow cameramen to directly shoot from behind of the mirrors. The studio has backlots that is utilized for several purposes depending on the season's theme.
Currently, the backlots are utilized as activity area, swimming pool area, and multi-purpose hall. Previously, it was also used for a garden, a resort, a concert hall for Pinoy Dream Academy, an eviction hall, and even a slum. The multi-purpose hall in particular is used by the ABS-CBN Foundation as a relief goods storage facility during calamities.
Seasons and Editions
Overall, Pinoy Big Brother had already produced 14 successful seasons with 4 regular/civilian seasons, 4 teen seasons, 2 celebrity seasons and 4 special seasons since it began airing on 2005.
The series has 4 types of editions; mainly a teen edition, a celebrity edition, a regular civilian edition and a special/combined edition.
The Civilian Edition is the original regular season of Pinoy Big Brother, where chosen adults with different backgrounds live together in the house. The adults that are chosen for this edition are aged 19 up to 35 years old, hailing from various places all around the world, as long as they connect themselves with being Filipino.
Considered as the "original" Pinoy Big Brother, this edition first aired in 2005 and has appeared in the series 4 times as a stand-alone edition, and 8 times in general (the other 4 appearing in combined seasons).
The Teen Edition is an adaptation of Teen Big Brother: The Experiment, a special spin-off of the Big Brother UK. Albeit adapted from the British spin-off, the Teen Edition, follows more the premise of Pinoy Big Brother's original civilian edition, but with Teenaged Housemates.
The adolescents chosen for this particular edition are aged 13 to 18 years old, are from different parts of the Philippines, sometimes even from certain overseas countries with sizable Filipino communities. Other factors are disregarded; in-school and out-of-school youths, those with intact and broken families, and even teenage single parents may be eligible as long one passes the age requirement and has a background worth exploring during the edition's run.
Originally, the teen editions are the "summer" seasons of the show, as teen editions are usually aired throughout the Philippine "summer" months from late March to early June. During this time, most teenagers are out of school as the typical school year in the Philippines runs from June of one year to March of the next.
Since the show is composed of teenagers, the edition has special restrictions and has more rules than other editions. Big Brother is often seen more as a "guardian/father-figure" to the young housemates. The teen edition is usually programmed to understand the lives of the teenagers which aims to show that ("teenagers can do more than what others perceive them to be").
Considerably, this edition attracts a huge following of teen aged audience, making it the most popular edition in the series.
The Celebrity Edition follows the same premise of the Big Brother UK's Celebrity Big Brother where in Big Brother housed commercial models, actors and actresses, radio and TV show hosts, musicians, sports and fashion personalities, and even politicians in a certain number of days (the duration of this particular version of the show is lesser compared to the regular seasons).
Celebrity housemates, like many counterparts abroad, play for charity, aside from themselves. Prizes given away from edition to edition can vary, but basically, the cash prize an edition's winner can receive is the same as the prize for that winner's chosen charity organization, i.e. the winner and his/her charity each win the same amount.
Special and Combined Editions
Special Seasons are editions where in a different format is being applied to the show. Either, teens, celebrities and regular adults will live in the house or two editions will happen in one single season. It depends on the twists of Big Brother himself.
Usually, the combined seasons are composed of all three other editions, either by batch or entirely mixed. Out of all combined seasons, only All In is not a multi-part season.
Interestingly, the special/combined seasons are counted and treated as regular civilian editions, although majority of it are composed of all three editions in one. These editions also make huge twists that often change some of the game-play in the season.
List of Seasons
Hall of Big Winners
For more information, check out the Big Winner page.
As of 2017, Pinoy Big Brother had already produced 14 winners. 5 for adults, 3 celebrities and 6 teens.
On its first season, the show was hosted by the Wowowee host, Willie Revillame together with the lead female host Toni Gonzaga who hosted the primetime weeknight episodes and Mariel Rodriguez who hosted the midnight companion show, Pinoy Big Brother: Uplate. When a controversy occured in Willie's variety show, he chose not to return for the second edition, which made Toni Gonzaga the main presenter of the show.
Since then, Toni has been spearheading the hosting role for Pinoy Big Brother, together with various co-hosts that appear with her every season. Two of the mainstay co-hosts Mariel Rodriguez and Bianca Gonzalez were also considered notable figures along with Toni, eventually giving the three female hosts a nickname, "Big Brother's Angels".
A male co-host was brought back in later seasons. Initially, Luis Manzano was the male co-host of the show, However in 2011, former Teen Edition Plus housemate and runner-up Robi Domingo replaced Luis as the show's male co-host.
|Status:||Appeared in the Season||Appeared only on Season Finale|
| Civilian Editions (Main OST)|
"I'm a Filipino"
| Celebrity Editions|
Sikat ang Pinoy
"Filipinos are Famous"
| Teen Editions|
The series have produced three different theme songs specifically used on every type of edition aired.
The show has its own theme song called "Pinoy Ako" (English: I'm a Filipino) by Orange and Lemons. This song is also the basis for much of the music scoring used in the show.
In 2007, a rehashed version was used in Season 2 sung by the rock band Cebalo. In 2010, another version was used in Season 4, sung by the main host herself, Toni Gonzaga. It had some remixed elements.
The new version of "Pinoy Ako" by Reo Brothers was released on Season 5 (All in Season). However on the Season 6, which coincides the 10th Anniversary of the show, they reverted to the original song sung by Orange and Lemons.
Celebrity Editions also had it's own theme song entitled Sikat ang Pinoy (lit. Filipinos are Famous) by Season 1 contestant Sam Milby and Toni Gonzaga which was used for its Celebrity Edition 1. However in 2007, just like the regular series, a rehashed version of Sikat ang Pinoy was also used for Celebrity Edition 2 sung by Pinoy Dream Academy contestants, Yeng Constantino and Emman Abatayo.
A different theme song was also used for its Teen seasons; Kabataang Pinoy (The Filipino Youth) of the Itchyworms.
It was the only song that wasn't rehashed and has been in use since Teen Edition 1 up to the present Teen Edition.
- Pinoy Big Brother is the longest running Big Brother series in the entire Asia-Pacific region.
- The Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia to successfully produce a Big Brother franchise.
- Pinoy Big Brother is the only Big Brother franchise in the world to adapt a Teen Edition for Big Brother after Teen Big Brother: The Experiment was aired in United Kingdom in 2003.
- The Teen Edition eventually turned out to be one of the most popular editions in Pinoy Big Brother.
- Since its launch in 2005, Pinoy Big Brother already had over 300 housemates lived inside the house.
- Out of 15 overall winners, only 7 of them are males.
- Out of 15 overall winners, 8 of them are females, making the show dominated by women.
- Out of 15 overall winners, 6 of them are from the Visayas Region, making the Visayas as the region with the most number of winners.
- Out of 15 overall winners, 8 of them speaks Visayan as their first language.
- All of the show's current presenters experienced living inside the house, with two being pranked by Big Brother while the other four being former housemates.
- Toni Gonzaga and Mariel Rodriguez became the surprise house guest of Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition 2 while Bianca Gonzalez, Robi Domingo, Kim Chiu, and Melisa Cantiveros were former housemates in Pinoy Big Brother: Celebrity Edition 1, Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition Plus, Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition 1, and Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up respectively.
- Pinoy Big Brother had some of the longest season durations worldwide. The longest being Pinoy Big Brother Otso which lasted for 268 days, landing as the third longest season in the whole Big Brother history.
- Pinoy Big Brother had the second highest number of ejections in the history of Big Brother worldwide next to Germany.
- It holds the youngest ever Big Brother housemate to enter worldwide, when Bailey May entered in Pinoy Big Brother: 737's Teen Edition at age 12.
- Throughout the years since it first aired in 2005, 2013 is the only year where there was no any Pinoy Big Brother season aired.
|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|