CBS robs ABC’s Glass House with Big Brother’s new “interactive offerings”

The fine folks at CBS have apparently stopped hyperventilating over Glass House long enough to borrow liberally from it for Big Brother, as the network today announced “a brand-new menu of interactive offerings to satisfy some of reality TV’s biggest die-hard fans.”

CBS Interactive Senior Vice President Marc DeBevoise said in a press release that they will satisfy the show’s “insatiable fan base” with “a true second-screen social experience, offering even more ways for them to find and interact with not only each other, but the show and their favorite Houseguests.”

Gee, what a creative, original idea! But really, we can thank Glass House for giving CBS a swift kick in the ass that they need to up their game.

The show is adding a “Social Insider” (i.e. Oracle) who will offer “exclusive behind-the-scenes content” including “first looks at challenges, production news and more.” That’s via @CBSBigBrother and the hashtag #bbinsider. We also have the pre-existing Twitter accounts @BigBrotherScoop, where the producers reveal nothing (read the crap they tweeted last year), and @BigBrotherHoH, where the HOH will write useless things.

We’ll also get weekly “fan-driven live chats every Friday with Big Brother houseguests and series experts” and and “exclusive photos from inside the house taken by that week’s Head of Household.” The latter, of course, is not new at all, but the former has some potential–assuming they let the houseguests answer questions. Most likely, it’ll be filtered nonsense and empty questions.

Finally, the “offerings” include Big Brother Connect, which “will aggregate live social streams to drive conversations, feature hashtag-driven polls and will provide opportunities for fan tweets to appear during the Thursday night live shows.”

Oh, and the CBS press release mentions the live feeds, because that’s where the real cash is, and notes that “CBS may block or delay the webcast for a limited time and other events that transpire in the house to preserve the drama for Big Brother television viewers.” It does not mention that feeds will be cut every time houseguests start discussing producer meddling in their game.

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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.