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BB22 will have a live move-in, new timeslots, and no studio audience

BB22 will have a live move-in, new timeslots, and no studio audience

CBS officially announced Big Brother 22 today, its second all-star edition, and also announced its air date and schedule.

While CBS did not announce the cast members, it said “they all have something to prove.” However, at least nine possible BB22 cast members have been identified.

Julie Chen, Big Brother 20 live double eviction
Julie Chen during the Sept. 13 live double eviction episode of Big Brother 20. She is returning to host BB22. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS)

The cast will move in live on Wednesday, Aug. 5, at 9 p.m. ET. That’s similar to Big Brother: Over the Top, the streaming-only season that aired in the fall of 2016 and also had a live move-in.

That’ll also be after an episode of Phil Keoghan’s Tough As Nails. However, Phil’s new competition will apparently have to relocate, because Big Brother’s Wednesday episodes won’t air at 9 after that premiere.

BB22’s schedule is similar to last season’s schedule, but with 8 p.m. ET timeslots for all three weekly episodes:

  • Sundays at 8
  • Wednesdays at 8
  • Thursdays at 8

Last season, the Wednesday and Thursday episodes aired at 9, at least until September, when the Wednesday episodes aired at 8.

The way the press release phrased the timeslots makes me wonder if there isn’t a typo. It says: “the series will air Sundays and Wednesdays (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT), and Thursdays (8:00-9:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT).”

If all three episodes are in the same timeslot, why separate them like that? Is it just to indicate that Thursdays are live? Or are either the Sunday/Wednesday or Thursday episodes actually going to air at 9?

There’s also no word about how long the season will last. If it’s for the usual three months, its finale would air in late October or even early November.

CBS’s plans to not kill any of the houseguests or crew members

The Big Brother back yard and pool, ready for season 21. Will it be in use for BB22 this summer?
The Big Brother back yard and pool, ready for season 21. Will it be in use for BB22 this summer? (Photo by Monty Brinton/CBS)

CBS said in a press release that, during Big Brother 22, the “production will follow specific health and safety protocols” and contestants “will be tested several times prior to entering the House.”

They will “will be tested weekly during the season and have no contact with any crew members, and all supplies delivered will be disinfected.”

As to not infecting or killing the crew, CBS said “All staff and crew members will be tested prior to commencing work on a regular basis, as well as screened daily for symptoms. They’ll be required to wear PPE and will work in pods to enhance social distancing.” The show will also have a “compliance officer … on staff to monitor and enforce all health and safety” efforts.

Big Brother will not have a live studio audience this season, which is a fantastic change, since it never added anything for me, and was sometimes just stocked with former houseguests, CBS employees, and clap-happy paid extras who’d clap for anything and didn’t seem to know anything about what was actually happening on the show.*

Speaking of not knowing what is happening, Julie Chen Moonves is returning to host, and Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan are returning as executive producers and showrunners.

*This paragraph was updated, as noted in the comments below, because the original version incorrectly implied that the studio audience never had actual fans. That is inaccurate. While the live studio audience was sometimes closed to the public and/or used paid seat-fillers, it also opened its tapings to actual fans and offered tickets to the general public.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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