‘Big Brother’ will not be back “in its current form” after this year, Channel 5′s top boss has confirmed.
According to Broadcast, the channel’s director of programming Ben Frow has said the reality series will undergo some major changes if it is to be renewed for further series, after its current deal ends this summer.
Channel 5 has also said it will not be investing the same amount in the show that it does at the moment.
“The ball is in [production company] Endemol Shine’s court,” he is quoted as saying.
Last year, Ben admitted he would be “happier” if the show were axed, saying he doesn’t want “other people’s programmes” on his network, as he wasn’t the person who originally snapped up the rights when ‘BB’ left Channel 4 in 2010.
These aforementioned changes will affect both ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’, with one regular series and two celebrity runs currently airing every year.
A ‘Big Brother’ spokesperson declined to comment further when contacted by HuffPost UK.
Viewing figures for both shows have severely declined over the last few years, with last summer’s series hitting record lows and being trounced by ‘Love Island’.
The news comes after it was reported Channel 5 was receiving pitches to fill the 110 hours that would be left vacant in the primetime schedule, should they decide not to renew the deal.
However, it was claimed this was simply a contingency plan, with Channel 5 saying it is “prudent” to want to have something prepared if ‘Big Brother’ is axed.
“Fingers crossed we have a fantastic summer series and the channel want to keep it.”
‘Big Brother’ will return to Channel 5 this summer followed by what could be the last ever ‘Celebrity’ series.