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 and made some contestants gain celebrity status 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.
On May 5, 2020 the series' broadcasting network, ABS-CBN officially ceased operations as a compliance with the decisions of the National Telecommunications Commission in regard to the issue regarding the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte's refusal to renew the license of the network. .
As part of the network, Pinoy Big Brother's future season productions remain on hold, but the show's affiliated fan page on twitter clarified that the show is still set to return in the future for its ninth season. 
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 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 wherein a number of Filipinos volunteer to live in one house for a certain number of days. However, unlike its international counterparts, the Philippine version tends to have a "family-friendly" approach and focuses on "authenticity" and "truthfulness".
Because of this, Pinoy Big Brother evolved to be a reality series that revolves around one's authenticity, determination, hardwork, self-discovery, friendships, and love for family. This unique and positive approach to the Big Brother format helped in introducing and popularizing the show to a rather conservative Philippine society.
Just like a typical Big Brother series, weekly tasks, nominations, and evictions were among the essential aspects of the show and sticks to its social experiment nature by restricting the housemates on discussing and influencing nominations and having Big Brother as the most powerful character in the show.
The essential elements of the show are as follows:
Big Brother, sometimes called in Filipino as "Kuya" (a Tagalog kinship term for an elder male sibling), is the most important character in the series. He is the unseen voice, yet his wide range of wisdom nurtured and provided guidance to the housemates who enter the house, giving them life lessons throughout their journey in the house. The show's unique characterization of Big Brother helped to popularize the show as Filipino viewers often relate Big Brother's life lessons and wisdom to real-life scenarios.
The tasks are one of the main activities that the housemates do throughout their time in the house. From time to time, various tasks are given by Big Brother for housemates to accomplish.
- Weekly Tasks: Every week, the housemates must accomplish weekly tasks given by Big Brother in order to receive a food budget for the following week. Weekly Tasks challenge the housemates' teamwork and camaraderie to succeed.
- Reward Tasks: Throughout the series, Big Brother gives tasks to either one housemate or the entire house to accomplish in order to receive a special reward. These rewards vary from a simple house party to a special cash or house prize.
- Personal Tasks: This type of task is given individually for one housemate to accomplish. Most of the personal tasks are in relation to the housemate's life or family, and succeeding the task would give reward to the housemate's loved ones.
- Secret Tasks: This type of task requires one or two housemates to accomplish the task in secret. Losing the task would give the housemate punishments that vary from simple fun punishment to forced eviction.
Every week, the nominations take place inside the confession room (diary room) where all housemates have 3 points and must give 2 points to one housemate and 1 point to another one that they want to nominate. The housemates who received the three highest nomination points become the week's set of nominees.
- In All In, the viewers were given power to nominate. The housemate who received the highest vote joined the week's set of nominees.
- Since All In, nomination challenges became a reoccurring process for nominations wherein the housemates who failed to win in the challenges become nominees for eviction.
Every weekend, the nominated housemates face the public voting for eviction. Throughout the week, the viewers vote via SMS for who they want to save and by the end of the week, the nominee with the lowest save votes would be evicted out of the house.
- In the first half throughout the three batches of Lucky 7, eviction challenges were introduced wherein instead of public voting, the nominees compete in a challenge for eviction.
Since Pinoy Big Brother 2, the series introduced challenges that give certain advantages such as power and safety to the housemates. Some of these challenges eventually become a mainstay in the series' format.
- Ligtask Challenges: Since Pinoy Big Brother 2 Ligtask Challenge has been an important safety competition among the housemates. Throughout the seasons, Ligtask appeared in various forms such as immunity, veto, nomination and eviction challenge.
- Big Jump Challenge: Since its introduction in Double Up, the Big Jump has become an important challenge for the remaining housemates to secure their slot in the finale. The winning housemate automatically gets a spot in the Big Four and becomes immune to nominations and evictions.
Big Four & Big Night
Every season, the Big Four consisting of the final four housemates are named and are able to advance to the live finale.
The live finale named Big Night is the most anticipated evening throughout every season. Big Night is a grand finale event and is held in different arenas or stadiums throughout the country every season. The event usually begins with opening performances from guest celebrities and shows the memorable moments throughout the season. The viewer vote results are also announced after a week of voting. At the end of the night, the Big Four's final placements are announced where one of them is eventually hailed as Big Winner. The Big Winner wins the grand prize package usually including a cash prize, holiday package for two, and a house/condo unit.
Every season, the housemates are chosen via open casting auditions held in different cities all throughout Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Open Auditions are also held overseas, in countries with a large Filipino population, such as the USA, Australia, United Kingdom and others.
The series has two sets of age range for contestants. 13-18 for Teen Housemates, and 19-35 for Adult Housemates.
The application is open to all as long as the person either holds 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 individuals who currently reside in the Philippines or has moved permanently in the country are also welcomed to apply.
ABS-CBN Star Hunt Auditions
Since 2018, ABS-CBN had launched Star Hunt, a grand audition event for people who want to join reality shows, talent shows, and game shows aired by ABS-CBN, including Pinoy Big Brother. The audition caravan is held in various places in the country and overseas.
Season Theme & Twists
Every season, themes and twists were one of the most anticipated to appear by avid viewers. A season's theme and its twists play a major role in the series, making each season different from one another.
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 as follows:
- 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 their Guardians who lived in an adjacent living quarter 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 the first half of Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash 2010, the first group of housemates was 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 Pinoy Big Brother 7, the top four finalists from each of the season's three batches return back to the game in a special final chapter called Dream Team.
- Official Housemates vs. Star Dreamers: In Pinoy Big Brother 8, the season featured unique gameplay involving Official Housemates who managed to enter the Big Brother House and waitlisted contestants called Star Dreamers of Camp Star Hunt wherein every time an official housemate gets evicted, a Star Dreamer becomes an official housemate and cross-over to the Big Brother House to replace the evictee for their slot as an official housemate.
Pinoy Big Brother has a permanent time slot at around 10:00PM PHT on ABS-CBN's primetime block. The series airs 7 days a week, with highlight episodes airing from Mondays to Fridays. On Weekends, Nomination Nights are held on Sundays while Eviction Nights are held on Saturdays.
Since 2014, the series currently airs an afternoon recap show entitled Pinoy Big Brother Gold aired every Monday to Friday at 5:00 PM PHT on ABS-CBN's Kapamilya Gold block featuring extra weekly highlights. It's predecessor, Pinoy Big Brother: Uber used to air around 4:30 PM on ABS-CBN's afternoon block from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, Pinoy Big Brother: Unlimited's Unliday aired on the same timeslot, focusing on the Industrial House highlights. A midnight companion show entitled Pinoy Big Brother: Uplate used to air every midnight of the week until the show ended in 2010.
Every season, Pinoy Big Brother also airs various digital companion shows with talk show format which were livestreamed via Youtube, Facebook, and its official website. Pinoy Big Brother Online aired from 2015 to 2017 until it was renamed as Bring 8 On for Pinoy Big Brother 8.
The live feeds are shown every day and can be seen on iWant. The livesteam is usually aired for free. However in Pinoy Big Brother: 737 it was temporarily shut down and re-aired with subscription fees due to malicious and indecent posts online made by some viewers regarding the housemates.
The Big Brother House
For more information about the house interiors, check out the page Big Brother House/Philippines.
The iconic Big Brother house, 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 for 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-story house. In reality, the house is actually a large, fully air-conditioned studio with a facade made to look like an ideal middle-class house. 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.
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 and eventually as the facade of Camp Star Hunt in 2018.
Currently, the backlots are utilized as an 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 and warehouse for the show's set.
Seasons and Editions
Since the show began airing in 2005, Pinoy Big Brother has successfully produced 8 regular seasons (4 civilian; 4 special), 4 teen seasons, and 2 celebrity seasons.
Civilian editions are the series' regular seasons whose housemates consist of civilian adults with ages ranging from 19 to 35 years old and have diverse backgrounds. It is considered as the "original" Pinoy Big Brother by the viewers as Pinoy Big Brother 1 was composed of civilian housemates.
Celebrity Editions consist of famous housemates from different fields such as entertainment, politics, and sports. Celebrity editions usually consist of commercial models, actors and actresses, radio and TV show hosts, musicians, sports and fashion personalities, and even politicians. 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.
Teen Editions are seasons with teenagers ranging from 13 to 18 years old as housemates with diverse backgrounds. The series' teen edition is the Philippine version of Big Brother UK spin-off Teen Big Brother: The Experiment, albeit in a more wholesome and stricter manner and follows more the premise of a regular Pinoy Big Brother season.
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, teen seasons implement special restrictions and have more rules than regular seasons. In addition, the series' teen edition is usually programmed to understand the lives of teenagers, aiming to show prove that teenagers can do more than what others perceive them to be. Considerably, teen seasons attract a huge following of teenaged audience, making it the most popular edition in the series.
Special Editions are seasons with a different format to an ordinary season. Depending on the season's theme, special editions include either all types of housemates in one season, or a season is divided into two or more editions. Despite being a special season, it still chronologically belongs to the series' regular seasons. Currently, the series has aired 4 combined seasons.
All In Seasons
All In is a special combined season where Civilian, Celebrity, and Teen housemates live together and compete against each other in one season. Currently, the series only aired one season in this format; Pinoy Big Brother: All In. However, this format also appeared in multi-part seasons just like the other three editions.
Multi-Part seasons are combined seasons that air two or more editions continuously throughout its entire season run. Due to its format, most of the series' longest seasons were multi-part seasons.
List of Seasons
Big Brother's Big Winners
Main Article: Big Winner
Actress, Singer, and TV Host Toni Gonzaga has been the main presenter of Pinoy Big Brother since it first aired in 2005.
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 occurred 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.
Throughout the years, various hosts, mostly former housemates, joined as show's co-hosts in its companion shows and live shows.
|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 has 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 for Pinoy Big Brother: All In. However, in 737, 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 the 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 Big winners, 8 of them are females, making the show dominated by women.
- It took 4 seasons before a male housemate won as Big Winner.
- The majority of the series' Big Winners are of Visayan descent.
- Out of all 15 Big Winners, 10 are of Visayan descent and speak Visayan as their first language; Nene Tamayo, Keanna Reeves, Kim Chiu, Ruben Gonzaga, Ejay Falcon, Melisa Cantiveros, Slater Young, Myrtle Sarrosa, Maymay Entrata, Yamyam Gucong.
- Out of the 10 Visayan winners, 7 were from Visayas region and 3 were from Mindanao region.
- 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.
- Pinoy Big Brother is one of the attractions of the indoor theme park, ABS-CBN Studio Experience, wherein visitors can experience to become a housemate and participate in various tasks to be given by Big Brother.
- Throughout the years since it first aired in 2005, 2013 and 2020 were the only years where there was no Pinoy Big Brother season airing.
- ↑ Philippines largest TV network ABS-CBN ordered shut (in English). Al Jazeera (5 May 2020).
- ↑ Duterte government shuts down Philippines' top broadcaster ABS-CBN (in English). The Straits Times (5 May 2020).
- ↑ @PBBOTSOabscbn Meron pang Season 9 ang PBB. Babalik po kami
- ↑ @PBBOTSOabscbn Team Online! Miss niyo na ba ang PBB?...
- ↑ http://www.philstar.com/opinion/304216/pinoy-big-brother
- ↑ http://news.abs-cbn.com/entertainment/07/03/15/abs-cbn-shutting-down-pbb-247-livestream
|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|