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.

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