Wednesday, March 28, 2001
CBS' search is on for the next round of "Big Brother" shut-ins.
The network posted an application and instructions for wanna-be "Big Brother" players yesterday at its Web site, www.cbs.com. A second season of the $500,000 jackpot game show could be ready to air as early as this summer. Applications will be accepted until Friday, April 20.
Tuesday, CBS was to formally name veteran TV reality series producer Arnold Shapiro ("Rescue 911," "Scared Straight") to oversee the reality game show.
Shapiro will take over the role played by "Big Brother" creators at Endemol Entertainment, a Dutch company that launched the "Big Brother" concept in Europe several years ago.
CBS' first version of the series last summer revolved around 10 diverse strangers who lived in a house outfitted with dozens of cameras and microphones that followed them around the clock. The house was built on a CBS studio lot in Los Angeles and some contestants spent up to 88 days at the compound.
But, don't expect all the rules of the game to remain the same this time around.
For the second version of "Big Brother" housemates are expected to cast ballots against each other, voting one of their own out of the house as is done on CBS' "Survivor." Last year, viewers were the ones choosing who stayed and who left by logging their votes on a 1-900 number.
This time, viewers will only choose a winner and two runners-up from three finalists, according to CBS' Web site.
And rather than restrict voting to call-in ballots, America Online is expected to set up an Internet voting system for fans to be able to cast ballots online, according to sources.
CBS Monday declined to comment on another issue in "Big Brother's" second run, namely, whether CBS News' Julie Chen will reprise her role as host.
Last summer, CBS put on "Big Brother" five nights a week ï¿½ most of the time airing it live ï¿½ from early July through the end of September. In a partnership with AOL, the series was also carried over the Internet in real time, allowing browsers to peer in on the shut-ins any time, day or night.
In the end, one-legged college student Eddie McGee of Long Island took home the show's $500,000 jackpot. Although "Big Brother" didn't spark the ratings boom that runs of the same type of game earned in Europe, it bumped up CBS' appeal with young adults sufficiently enough for the network to pencil it in for another run.