Big Brother could return in late January

Earlier this week came word that CBS could bring Big Brother back early, perhaps in March, due to the strike. Now, word comes that CBS is getting ready to air Big Brother 9 even earlier, in late January or February.

CBS “quietly began casting for the next edition of the show a few weeks ago,” Variety reports. And “[executive] producer Allison Grodner is also said to be working on a new creative twist … There’s been buzz that the next edition of ‘Big Brother’ might actually use celebrities as opposed to civilians. A long strike might work in favor of such a plan, since some celebs normally busy working on sitcoms and dramas might have some time on their hands.”

But Big Brother 9 may even earlier than February. “CBS is quietly ramping up production on a ninth cycle of the reality show to begin airing in late January or early February if the strike persists well into the holidays,” Entertainment Weekly reports. Citing a “reliable source,” the magazine says “executive producer Allison Grodner is already hiring production staff.” If this happens, EW says, “it is unlikely to affect the regular summer run of the show.”

On the Early Show, “Hanna Storm joked that the show might be back sooner than the summer, prompting a roll of the eyes from Chen. Chen then expressed her hope that the strike is settled soon,” Variety reports.

CBS leans on ‘Brother’ during strike [Variety]
New ‘Big Brother’ could air this winter [Entertainment Weekly]