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A three-dimensional view of the virus[1]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic is a current ongoing pandemic around the world.[2] The virus has impacted various sporting events, social interactions, and television events. When the virus hit the Big Brother world, it became an unprecedented event, changing how many franchises around the world are dealing with the event.

No Audience Live Shows

Amid the rising numbers infected by the pandemic, precautionary measures strictly suggest minimizing social contact to avoid being infected by the disease. As a result, various shows all over the world started airing without a studio audience to observe social distancing and to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.[3][4]

  • On March 8, 2020, Grande Fratello announced that there would be no more guests entering the house. Days later on March 11, it was announced that live episodes of its 4th Celebrity Season would no longer feature an audience.
  • On March 12, 2020, Big Brother Canada followed suit in this precautionary measure and announced that live episodes on its 8th Season will broadcast without a studio audience after the outbreak of COVID-19.[5] However, the March 19 episode was broadcasted remotely from host Arisa Cox's home (see below).
  • Also on March 12, 2020, Big Brother Brazil decided it would not have a live audience for, at least, the 8th eviction on March 17, 2020 as a precautionary measure.[6]
  • Starting at the beginning of the season, Big Brother Portugal decided not to have a live audience. However, starting on June 7, 2020, a live audience would be present in the studio.[7]

Delayed Premieres

  • The 6th edition of Big Brother Greece was set to premiere on March 15, 2020. However, on the scheduled premiere date, it was announced that the premiere was postponed indefinitely.[9] On May 7, 2020, SKAI announced that Big Brother would premiere in August 30, 2020.[10]
  • The 5th edition of Big Brother Portugal was set to premiere on March 22, 2020. However, on March 16, 2020, it was announced that the premiere would be postponed.[11] The season later premiered on April 26, 2020.[12]
  • The 22nd Season of Big Brother US was postponed from its initial airdate at the end of June,[13] however a statement from CBS confirmed that they still planned on airing the season in the summer of 2020.[14] On July 23, 2020, ViacomCBS announced the season would be an All-Star edition set to premiere on August 5, 2020. The cast and crew would go through quarantine and frequent testing throughout the season, along with other guidelines and protocols due to the restrictions.[8]

Shorter Seasons

  • The fourth celebrity season of Grande Fratello was originally extended to end on April 27, 2020, with the season being a total of 111 days. However, Canale 5 decided to move the finale up to April 8, 2020, making it a total of 92 days.[15]
  • The second season of the Malayalam version of Bigg Boss was scheduled to air until April 18, 2020, making it a total of 106 days. However, AsiaNet decided to suspend filming of the show on March 20, 2020. The season would have no winner.[16]
  • The 8th Season of Big Brother Canada was initially slated to end on May 21, 2020. However on March 24, it was announced that the show would immediately suspend production. This season would have no winner.[17]
  • Production of the 12th season of Big Brother Australia, which was being filmed months ahead of its planned airdate in June, was accelerated to end after six weeks, 39 days, instead of a full length season, however Seven denied that the season was "cut short". The houseguests left the house normally up until a Final Three was determined, after which they were sent home as normal, while they waited for a fan vote to decide who wins the season at the planned live finale.[18]

Remote Hosting

Suspended Filming

  • Production of the 12th season of Big Brother Australia was temporarily suspended after a crew member was exposed to the virus.[19] However the crew member's test came back negative, and production resumed the following day.[20]

Impact on Players

Lockdown-Big Brother similarities

  • As 2020 Luzon enhanced community quarantine forced most Filipinos to be stuck in their homes in the Philippines, many people have started comparing the quarantined situation to that in Big Brother. Pinoy Big Brother-inspired parodies became viral in Tiktok, Youtube and Facebook, with people in quarantine imagining themselves as housemates inside their Big Brother House. One viral video have reached over 800,000 facebook views.[21]

Big Brother: Stay At Home Edition

  • On March 30th, 2020, Pinoy Big Brother launched its first home edition entitled Pinoy Big Brother: Stay At Home Edition.[22] The online interactive spin-off highlights the importance of staying at home amid the COVID-19 crisis and encourages people to join in Big Brother's daily tasks and share their entries via the comments section of the series' Facebook page. The winning entry is awarded as Stay At Homemate of the Day. The spin-off aims to lighten the situation and give people activities for fun while staying indoors as well as giving reminders regarding the proper way to prevent COVID-19.[23]

Reruns & Recaps


  1. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (in English). United States Department of State. Retrieved on 13 March 2020.
  2. 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic (in English). Wikipedia. Wikipedia. Retrieved on 13 March 2020.
  3. ABS-CBN bans studio audience (in English). The Manila Times. Retrieved on 13 March 2020.
  4. Late-Night Shows in New York Will Tape Without Audiences Due to Coronavirus (in English). Vulture. Vulture. Retrieved on 13 March 2020.
  5. ‘Big Brother Canada’ To Tape Without Studio Audience Over Coronavirus Concerns (in English). ET Canada. ET Canada. Retrieved on 13 March 2020.
  6. Por coronavírus, eliminação do 'BBB20' não terá plateia, diz Boninho (in Portuguese). globo. globo. Retrieved on 16 March 2020.
  7. SURPRESA! Gala de hoje do ‘Big Brother 2020’ vai ter públicolanguage = Portuguese. dioguinho. dioguinho. Retrieved on 7 June 2020.
  9. Αναβολή πρεμιέρας «Big Brother»: Προτεραιότητα η ασφάλεια παικτών και εργαζομένων (in Greek). Skai. Skai. Retrieved on 15 March 2020.
  10. Big Brother: Ο κύβος ερρίφθη! Δείτε πότε κάνει πρεμιέρα το ριάλιτι (Video) (in Greek) (7 May 2020). Retrieved on 9 May 2020.
  11. Estreia de BB2020 adiada (in Portuguese). TVI. TVI. Retrieved on 16 March 2020.
  12. BB2020. TVI vai alterar o formato, vê como irá ficar (in Portuguese) (17 April 2020).
  13. A Puzzle Without All the Pieces: Broadcast Networks Scramble to Program an Uncertain Future (in English). The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter (7 April 2020). Retrieved on 8 April 2020.
  14. CBS say Big Brother still on track to return this summer (in English). Big Blagger. Big Blagger (7 April 2020). Retrieved on 8 April 2020.
  15. Coronavirus, il Grande Fratello vip 4 chiude in anticipo: l'annuncio ai concorrenti del reality (in Italian) (16 March 2020).
  16. Bigg Boss Malayalam 2 'temporarily suspended' due to Corona outbreak, to air its last episode on Friday (19 March 2020).
  17. STAFF (24 March 2020). BIG BROTHER CANADA SPECIAL STATEMENT REGARDING END OF PRODUCTION. Big Brother Canada. Archived from the original on 24 March 2020. Retrieved on 24 March 2020.
  18. Big Brother Australia ‘wraps filming, will end with live final’ (in English). bbspy. bbspy (4 April 2020). Retrieved on 8 April 2020.
  19. BIG BROTHER shuts down after COVID-19 positive test (in English). TV Blackbox. TV Blackbox. Retrieved on 23 March 2020.
  20. Big Brother filming will resume tomorrow (in English). Big Brother News. Twitter.
  21. VIRAL: 'Housemate' imagines quarantine as 'PBB' stint (in English). ABS-CBN News. ABS-CBN News. Retrieved on 03 April 2020.
  22. ABS-CBN launches 'Pinoy Big Brother: Stay at Home Edition' (in English). ABS-CBN News. ABS-CBN News.
  23. "Pinoy Big Brother: Stay At Home Edition" highlights importance of staying at home amid COVID-19 (in English). ABS-CBN News. ABS-CBN News.
  25. @PBBOTSOabscbn - Team Online! Miss niyo na ba ang PBB?...
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