Big Brother 10 will cast kids ages 8 to 15

This satirical, fictional story is part of the April 1, 2008, edition of reality blurred.

Instead of renewing its controversial reality series Kid Nation, CBS has announced that the cast of Big Brother 10 will be composed entirely of kids ages 8 to 15. The show will otherwise be identical, retaining its usual format, although the prize will be lowered to $50,000.

The idea for a kid season of the summer reality show was initially floated when producers were searching for a location for Kid Nation 2, which ran into child labor law problems during its production in New Mexico last summer.

“At first, we thought we’d go to a place Americans have forgotten about,” a producer said, noting that they considered New Orleans, Afghanistan, Darfur, and the back yards of the show’s critics. “But then we realized that no one really cares what happens inside the Big Brother house, and our research found that the only people who do are so intensely glued to their computers that they’re unwilling to even use punctuation in their sentences on message board posts, so they certainly wouldn’t put forth the effort necessary to file a complaint or alert authorities.”

CBS executives initially considered a kid-focused version of Survivor, but producers of that show insisted upon minimum health and safety requirements, which was determined to be an unnecessary burden, and Big Brother producers promised that their only priority is making themselves feel better about their own childhoods by controlling the lives of others.

The network said in a press release that the age of the cast members is not the big twist, but didn’t mention what its other twists might be, insisting only that they’d be entertaining. “On Big Brother, we tell houseguests to expect the unexpected, and the same will be true with kids,” an executive producer said. “If those babies can’t handle slop, just wait until they see what happens when we make them eat baby food. Oh my gosh, that’s such a good idea, and will make such fantastic television! I’m going to go write it down right now, and clear space for my Emmy.”

Host Julie Chen will also return, and since kids are especially responsive to robots, she’ll also host the food and veto competitions. Parents concerned about their kids’ safety will be allowed to monitor them 24/7 via the live Internet feeds, although those will be blocked at certain times, such as when the kids participate in competitions, have sex, are berated and beaten by producers in the diary room, or do anything that’s remotely interesting at all.

Because the kids cannot legally drink, producers are reportedly looking for other ways to ensure constant drama, like periodically telling some kids that their houses have burned down and their parents are dead.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.