Big Brother’s higher ratings attributed to “rootable,” “fun,” not “completely hatable” cast

Big Brother ratings are up 6 percent from last summer and the show is regularly getting its highest demo ratings in years, which is evidence that there’s nothing else on TV–or that people like us are sticking around because we are desperately hoping something interesting will happen to validate all of the time we’ve wasted since early July.

But the increase in viewers has validated the producers’ decisions, particularly in regard to casting, which is what they attribute this season’s success to. Executive producer Allison Grodner told the AP, “You can have a rootable villain or a fun villain. You don’t want to necessarily have someone who is completely hateable.”

The AP adds that “[p]roducers last year learned the importance of casting characters that people enjoy following each week, Grodner said. She believes that’s been a big reason for its success at a point most shows are running out of steam.”

Of course, anyone who is watching this season knows that this cast is horrifically boring, especially compared to last season’s cast. What this sounds like is that the producers tried to cast a bunch of Jeff and Jordans (hence the inexplicable pimping of Rachel and Brendon’s absurd relationship) rather than a diverse cast, and I don’t entirely mean in terms of ethnicity, although that this cast is both pasty white and fundamentally similar to one another hasn’t helped anything.

A grown-up ‘Big Brother’ finds strong ratings [AP]

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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.