CBS’s Celebrity Big Brother, which hasn’t aired since 2019, will be returning for season 3 in 2022, the network announced during its presentation at the summer Television Critics Association press tour.
Why is CBS bringing the show back now, after just skipping 2020 and 2021, and basically ignoring it?
The first season of Big Brother: Celebrity Edition aired opposite NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in 2018, and performed well in the ratings.
Also returning in 2022, coincidentally: the Winter Olympics, which air Feb. 4 to 20, 2022.
CBS did not mention that in its press release, but CBS exec Thom Sherman did confirm to TV critics that Big Brother will air in February, opposite the Olympics.
In other words, CBS is bringing back CBB because it’s a reliable performer in a time when networks are reluctant to air other new shows. And the Olympics are vulnerable: ratings for NBC’s Summer Olympics coverage dropped 40 percent this year.
Host Julie Chen Moonves, who’s returning to host, said on a podcast in December that CBS rejected a pitch for a 2020/2021 winter season when it was pitched to them last year:
“I would love to see another Celebrity Big Brother, and I think now is the time to do it. … Now is the time to cast it. Trust me: the producers and I were pushing for it. Hey, do you want to order Celebrity Big Brother now?
If you order it now, we could roll out the house—vacuum it, clean it, get those celebrities like three days in there after finale night. But the network said no, not yet. I think it was a hard time for them to say yes because they have to put on their fall lineup.”
CBS did not announce any details about when Big Brother: Celebrity Edition season three will air, such as the number of episodes or schedule.
The only details, besides news of the renewal, was that it’ll air in winter 2022, and will once again be produced by Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan.
Also, the live feeds will be on Paramount+, as usual.
The previous two seasons of Big Brother: Celebrity Edition (that’s what CBS calls it, even though the logo says “Celebrity Big Brother”) each had 13 episodes which were divided over four weeks.
That limited schedule helps to attract celebrity cast members, who might be reluctant to sign up for the nearly three months that the summer edition can take.
Marissa Jaret Winokur won season one and Tamar Braxton won season two, which was the only season in Big Brother’s 21-year, 26-season history to have a Black winner so far. That’s very likely to change with Big Brother 23.