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CBS is pairing TV’s most-toxic reality competitions together this summer

CBS is pairing TV’s most-toxic reality competitions together this summer
BB24 host Julie Chen Moonves and The Challenge: USA host TJ Lavin (Composite image via CBS)

At long last, two of reality TV’s biggest dumpster fires, Big Brother and The Challenge, will have their toxicity pooled together on one night on CBS this summer.

That petri dish starts festering next month, when Big Brother 24 and The Challenge: USA will each premiere on the same night.

So why the disparaging headline?

The Challenge Battle of the Bloodlines fight
The first violent, drunken fight of MTV’s The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines.

Well, The Challenge, which was born as Road Rules: All Stars, has produced more than 500 episodes over an impressive 24-year run.

But many of those episodes were an absolute shitwagon of drunken violence, produced in an environment that one of its own cast members called a “hostile work environment” with “incentivized violence.”

Besides constructing shoddy challenges, producers have been sued by a contestant for “alleged unlawful termination, harassment, failure to prevent discrimination or retaliation, retaliation and sexual assault” (which they settled out of court), and accused of destroying sea turtle eggs, trashing a $4 million house, and leaving garbage in a rainforest.

And then there’s Big Brother.

Big Brother 18, Paulie Calafiore, VETO-licious, BB18
New BB18 HOH Paulie Calafiore after losing the VETO-licious competition. (Photo by CBS)

BB24 will be the 24th season of the long-running summer CBS competition, which is CBS’s worst reality show.

It has people live in a soundstage house, where they compete in poorly constructed challenges, are subjected to unfair twists, and for years said horrific shit without consequence. And of course they did: producers only banned racial slurs in 2020.

Its players are produced and edited in abjectly horrifying ways, and if they’re not treating each other like garbage, get treated like garbage by toxic fans.

Big Brother is hosted by a person who gave Bibles to the crew and who ends episodes with verbal Successories while being in complete denial about the show she hosts.

Pairing these two shows together, CBS said in a statement, “further underscores Paramount’s strategy of leveraging its popular franchises across the company’s global platforms.”

And that, is of course, what both shows are: leveraging human beings for profit, uninterested in the toxicity they’ve hosted and spewed into the world for most of their lives.

Is everyone on both of these shows horrible? Of course not! Have they produced some great entertainment amidst all this? Yep. Have they each improved in small ways? Sure.

Might they both become better versions of themselves? Let’s hope!

When BB24 and Challenge: USA will premiere and air

CBS eye logo

The Challenge USA is a new all-star reality competition that uses The Challenge’s format with Survivor, Big Brother, Amazing Race, and Love Island cast members competing for $500,000 and the ability to represent the U.S. in The Challenge: World Championship.

CBS calls it “one of the most unpredictable and demanding games of their lives, living in a constant state of paranoia and unable to trust anyone but themselves,” which basically sounds like Big Brother.

The Challenge USA will air Wednesdays at 9, but premiere July 6 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

That’s because BB24 will premiere July 6 at 8 p.m. ET, with a 90-minute premiere. CBS did not say that would be a live show, which probably means pre-taped.

After the premiere, Big Brother will have its usual schedule:

  • Wednesdays at 8
  • Thursdays at 9
  • Sundays at 8

The pairing is similar to what CBS will do this fall on Wednesday nights, when it will air these three reality shows together.

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About the author

  • 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.

Discussion

I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to them.

Happy discussing!

Barbara

Wednesday 8th of June 2022

Won’t be watching a minute of it. Not one minute in our home

Christine

Wednesday 1st of June 2022

Critical is correct, very negative. You do live in this world right? This is not eluding to igniting anything but your opinion, not discussion. Let people judge for themselves, obviously both shows have the audience, and the reason is due to the crossover of contestants from bb, trying out for the Challenge. Enjoy people.

BadMitten

Wednesday 1st of June 2022

You do know the CBS version of The Challenge is getting a PG rating right? Seems rather odd to malign a different version of the show that hasn't even had 1 season (heck even 1 episode) air yet.

BadMitten

Thursday 2nd of June 2022

@Andy Dehnart, I think maligning the main franchise on MTV is fair, but I have a hard time transposing that onto spin-offs when we havent seen anything yet. All Stars should be a prime example of why we shouldnt view those shows as the same product.

Andy Dehnart

Wednesday 1st of June 2022

I haven't seen anything about its rating (though considering Big Brother has a TV-PG rating, I don't place much stock in that).

But for sure, it'll be a different show, and I will give it a fair shot. I was just maligning the franchise! I think it's earned that, despite improvement in recent years.