Big Brother 8 will begin a new “era” this summer without producer Arnold Shapiro

CBS has renewed Big Brother for an eighth season. The show will again air in the summer, but unlike last season, which featured all-star players, the show will return to a cast of unknown people with psychological problems.

There is one change for this season that Variety calls a “behind-the-scenes twist”: “exec producer Arnold Shapiro has decided to step down from that role and will instead serve as an exec consultant.”

Shapiro took over the show in its second season along with Allison Grodner, who will remain and produce the show as part of her production company, Allison Grodner Productions. Shapiro told Variety he is “gratified that Allison and I were able to successfully ‘re-invent’ BB2 and turn the series into an annual summer hit.”

And Grodner said that Shapiro’s departure combined with last season will result in new start for the series. “We consider ‘All-Stars’ sort of the end of an era, and now we’re getting a chance to start once again with a fresh cast and new twists,” she said.

One thing that won’t change: Julie Chen. She’ll return as the show’s awkward host.

CBS still says yes to ‘Big Brother’ [Variety]