10th season of Big Brother debuts Sunday

On Sunday, CBS’ human litter box reality show Big Brother will debut its 10th season at 8 p.m. ET. The show also airs Tuesdays at 9 and Wednesdays at 8, and has a cast of strangers for the first time since 2002.

As usual, pre-show publicity has involved offering “journalists” the opportunity to live in the house for a half-day and produce empty puff pieces or what amount to promotional videos filmed by the producers. In addition, executive producer Allison Grodner has been doing a lot of interviews before the start of the season, which I suspect is about rescuing the show from the near-universal scorn it received this spring–not so much for its terrible human beings, but because it was terribly boring.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly posted late yesterday, the full version of an earlier interview, most of her answers come off as stubborn (“We have a format that we like and there are reasons for everything we do”), lazy (the Bible “provides good talking points! It’s given us interesting story to follow”) or just laughable (“As producers, we want to keep our hands off of things”).

However, she does admit that while the food competitions aren’t going anywhere–”Food competitions give us a time to be silly! They lend comedy. … The idea that their food is at stake becomes a huge deal in this house. Being on slop or having a food restriction causes a lot of drama.”–she said slop may disappear. “I think it’s possible you’ll see some food restrictions being mixed up this summer. The idea of unexpected food restrictions can add some fun to the food competitions,” she said.

Grodner also says that the spring series was a bad idea, and “summer is where it belongs,” and “it should air once a year. It was tough to put on a winter season, but if you look at the ratings, if you look at the DVR usage, we really weren’t that far off from where we normally are. I know we still had our core fan base.” We’ll know on Monday whether or not that core group returns.

Big Brother 10 [CBS]
‘Big Brother’ exec producer talks season 10 [Entertainment Weekly]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.