reality tv

A fake house and a prerecorded season: Everything we know about Big Brother 2020.

We’ve known for a few weeks that Big Brother is in our future, which we’re very excited about, but now we’ve been drip fed a few details about the revival and we can’t bloody wait.

Channel Seven and production company Endemol Shine Australia are the new owners of the franchise and applications are currently open (you can apply here). There have already been 30,000 applications.

There’s no official start date, but TV Blackbox doesn’t think it’ll air until August 2020 after the Tokyo Olympics.

Remember Merlin’s Big Brother eviction protest? Post continues after video.

Video by Nine

Apparently we’re in for a lot of changes with the new-look Big Brother, perhaps the most controversial one being that it won’t be live. The entire season will instead finish shooting before the first episode airs, which is the format for shows like The Bachelor, Masterchef and The Masked Singer.

In our opinion we kind of think this defeats the purpose of Big Brother, which is supposed to be about the public “watching” and interacting with nominations and live eliminations.

Blackbox reports that the new format is being described as “Survivor in a warehouse” which makes sense given the Executive Producer has just finished up on the latest season of Australian Survivor.

Entertainment reporter Peter Ford told 6PR he’s been told there are plans in place to keep costs of the production down when it comes to the actual Big Brother house.

The original mansion on the Gold Coast, next to Dreamworld, was left abandoned after the final season in 2014. But the country rediscovered it earlier this year in a YouTube video by MuiTube which explored the dilapidated premises – a week later it was damaged by a deliberately lit fire.

Big Brother
The original mansion earlier this year. Image: Jay Boston.

Four children aged between 11 and 15 were charged with arson. In August, the house was demolished.

"What they will do is build a house inside an established studio instead of building a house somewhere like Dreamworld which they then have to turn into a functioning TV production facility. That's an enormous cost involved in doing that," Ford told the radio station.

"The viewer won't notice the difference... they'll have a fake outdoor area," he added.

Another cost cutting consideration that's been looked at according to Blackbox is not having a host. Instead they've been weighing up having a voiceover, a bit like the set up on Love Island. 

It is rumoured that Channel Seven is considering Gretel Killeen, who hosted the original Big Brother Australia from 2001-2007, to take back the reigns for the reboot.

Earlier this year, she spoke to The Kyle and Jackie O Show about the possibility.

"I think the essence of Big Brother is brilliant because when we first started that show it was about just watching humans interact without interference, just seeing what humans do," she said. "It wasn’t ‘Who’s going to win?’ It was: Let’s just see what relationships form and how people pass their time and converse.


"I think watching ourselves is something we could actually learn from now. I think this is a time of analysis and introspection and redefining our values, so I think it would be a hoot."

Radio host and former Big Brother contestant Chrissie Swan has also expressed her interest in hosting, telling her Nova 100 Melbourne show: "Truly I would love it. I've always said I would do that".

Original host Gretel Killeen and Chrissie Swan, who'd love to be considered for the 2020 reboot. Image: Instagram.

At Seven's Upfronts last week (an event where they tell the industry about what's coming up for them in the new year) Samantha Armytage told the crowd "they didn't have a host yet."

Peter Ford is curious as to what kind of housemates we'll see in the new season telling 6PR, "It will be interesting to see what direction they go in, do they go down that road of sexy people all fighting and getting into bed together...

"Or do they actually want to make it more of a social experiment including older people and intelligent people."

This article was originally published on October 24 and was updated on October 27, 2019. 

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