Last night, Big Brother 2016 announced it’s big new twist. There will be two houses competing against each other for housemate status! However, we’ve been promised exciting twists before, let’s take a look at how to make the series a ratings success!
1) Stick to the format
We’ve been here before haven’t we? It’s the Big Brother pre-launch and Big Brother is telling us to be really excited for the upcoming twists and theme. However, in previous series it’s never felt like they put enough thought in to payoff a good theme idea.
Take Big Brother Power Trip for instance. We were told “Whoever has the power will be able to influence, twist and control events in the house like never before.” Exciting! We thought. The launch show looked to build on that, and the Power Trip really was a power to be reckoned with!
However, as the series went on, it became clear that the “Power” twists were being made up as each week went along, with no real format, and manipulated by the show producers to get who they wanted up for eviction and likewise those who they didn’t want up for eviction given immunity.
Then there was Big Brother Timebomb. Rylan teased that “housemates past, present and future would be in Big Brother’s hands”. Timebomb was a great idea, however once again we feel that apart from the first week, and the “time warp” twist, the whole theme was either forgotten about, or manipulated.
For instance, Big Brother would repeatedly tell the audience that even the most mundane twists like face to face nominations were a “TIMEBOMB THAT WOULD ROCK THE HOUSE TO IT’S VERY CORE”. Unfortunately for Big Brother, most people have a brain, and were asking how on earth a normal twist was a Timebomb.
It then became clear hat the theme once again hadn’t been thought through.
Therefore in Big Brother 2016 we really want to see a fixed format! Here at Reality Box we are really excited for the changes and can’t wait to see how they play out. However, if it’s just a case of the “two houses competing against each other” being a thing for two or three weeks, then forgotten about then we will feel a little let down.
Likewise, if there isn’t a structured format in to how “The Others” will take housemates places then we’ll also have something to say.
We are hoping for weekly challenges where “House White” and “House Black” compete and things are decided that way, or something similar.
2) Transparency with viewers
Since Channel 5 took over, one of it’s biggest criticisms is that it feels like they have been making things up as they go along in order to save their favourites.
For example, in Timebomb where Marc was given immunity for a second week during the Timewarp twist for no reason other than the producers knew he would be evicted if he was up for eviction. Or in Power Trip where Ashleigh was stated to have been given immunity from eviction for the week, then days later Big Brother just simply decided to take that immunity away.
It is not new for twists to happen in Big Brother, however Channel 5 have a real issue with explaining to viewers what these twists are.
For example, in previous years, Davina would commonly state any twist for the upcoming week at the end of an eviction show. These days, Emma will give a vague statement on what twists may happen but not state how they will happen, leaving viewers feeling a little cheated.
Big Brother is a show where viewers want to be involved and as it is one of the only “non-scripted” reality shows on TV, viewers want to feel like they can trust the show.
That trust has been diminished in recent years, however if Big Brother can win it back then we believe they’ll also win many viewers back.
3) Live Feed
We know. It’s never going to happen. But we still don’t understand why.
We live in a digital age where most show advertising comes direct from Twitter and Facebook. A 24/7 live feed in this day and age increases excitement and buzz for the show around the clock and would definitely increase ratings for the main show.
There are so many reasons why live feed is a positive that we still cannot see why Channel 5 are insistent against it.
In truth, we know why. It goes back to transparency with the viewers. We all know that we get little to no live feed because the show runners want to completely edit the show how they want to give it a “structured” feel. Therefore they don’t care what the viewers actually want, just their vision for the show which has lost them viewers since they changed the format from Channel 4.
Big Brother IS live feed. Every Big Brother around the world has live feed, many offering free streams on the internet. If Channel 5 wanted a structured reality show, we have no idea why they purchased Big Brother instead of making their own TOWIE or Made in Chelsea.
We also don’t understand why Channel 5 believe making Big Brother in to one of these shows is a good thing. Both TOWIE and Made in Chelsea have always gotten considerably lower ratings than Big Brother, and Big Brother is known as the “big daddy” of reality for a reason. It worked.
4) The housemates
If you look on social media you’ll see loads of people wanting “normal people”. This is a response to recent years where the majority of “civilian” housemates have already been in the public eye and/or are models.
We understand why Big Brother wants models and media types. However, Big Brother needs to get back to putting a diverse mix of housemates in. This can include a couple of models if they want!
The truth is, we are in the seventeenth series of Big Brother now. From watching every series, we believe that real shocking and gripping television comes from watching real, raw drama, fun and interaction. The “media types” they keep putting in will of course provide drama and this is because that is the job of “reality stars” these days. To go on reality shows, pretend to argue, pretend to be stupid and give the best sound bites.
But this isn’t REAL, after years of seeing these people we can see through it and it just doesn’t provide the majority with real entertainment and intrigue anymore. Seeing people argue on purpose instead of authentically just gives us a headache.
So, keep your models, but put a mix in too. Oh, and yes, there is nothing wrong with a couple of older housemates either. Part of the joy of Big Brother is seeing how different people from different walks of life interact and deal with people who they may never meet in their own lives.
There are many more things that could be done to improve the show but we believe these are the most important ones that need to be addressed.
Big Brother returns Tuesday 7th June at 9pm.