Channel 5 is set to axe Big Brother and its spin-off celebrity version at the end of the year, according to the Daily Star.
The tabloid claims the broadcaster is set to ‘pull the plug’ on the long running reality series due to falling ratings and a loss of interest in the show. However, despite the low ratings, the show still proves to be a massive hit online.
The current series launched with 2.07 million viewers, making it the lowest viewing figures ever to launch a January series. Last year’s civilian series averaged 865,000 in the overnights and 1.2 million in the officials.
According to the tabloid, show producers are ‘seriously considering’ axing the show amid fear Big Brother can no longer compete with shows like Love Island on ITV2.
A source told the Daily Star: “There have been conversations between the execs about not renewing the contract for both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.
“It would be the end of an era but they feel the time is right to end.”
The news comes after Channel 5 boss Ben Frow said he’d ‘be happier without Big Brother’ on his network. That led fans to understand why the broadcaster did not put any effort into promoting the series in the months leading up to the launch.
“Big Brother is a very expensive format for Channel 5 and it’s getting to the point where it just isn’t worth the hefty price tag,” said the alleged source.
However, there is some small hope for fans.
“There is still time for the bosses at Channel 5 to change their mind but it is not looking likely,” the source added. “Even if they drop it, another channel or a streaming service may decide to pick it up in the future.”
It is important to note that Channel 5 has not officially confirmed if they are axing the show or not. So as of now, there may be a small glimmer of hope.
Big Brother began back in 2000 on Channel 4 until 2010 when they axed it. Channel 5 then picked the show up in 2011 and it has aired on the network ever since.
The show has received harsh criticism from fans for not going back to its roots and casting housemates with agents or a history in reality television. The current series has been praised by fans as the best Big Brother to air on C5 to date.
Despite the grim news, Channel 5 still has two final series set to air. A civilian version in the summer, followed by the final ever series of Celebrity Big Brother if reports are true.
For now, Celebrity Big Brother airs nightly on Channel 5.