EXCLUSIVE | BIG BROTHER's big changes: "Survivor in a warehouse"

The reboot of BIG BROTHER is set to divide fans according to industry sources who are worried the new series will be nothing like the show we once loved.

When TV Blackbox confirmed the return of Big Brother to our screens, this time on Channel 7, executives were surprised at the level of interest shown by news websites and fans alike.

But those same fans might turn their backs on the show after seeing what Seven has in store.

Despite earlier indications production will start in February, sources now tell us filming will take place in April, but the series will not air until August, after the Olympics.

In what will be a major break with tradition, the entire series will finish shooting before the first episode airs. As part of this change in production there will be no live voting from the public, instead housemates will vote against each other and there will be no live elimination episodes.

Insiders believe the isolation of the contestants will change the game in a positive way not previously seen in Australia. Previously housemates nominated each other with a public vote determining which contestant would leave the house.

The format has been described to us as “Survivor in a warehouse” and this would make sense considering the new Executive Producer of the franchise has just finished overseeing filming of the new series of Australian Survivor set to launch in 2020 on 10.

The warehouse scenario was originally reported by Entertainment Reporter Peter Ford who revealed the house would be built within a studio. This would save a lot of money thanks to available facilities.

And money seems to be a big issue at play here.

TV Blackbox understands production company Endomol Shine has been looking for ways to trim the fat. One idea apparently being floated is to not have a host. There’s no doubt from a production point of view the series could survive with just a voice over artist as under this format no host is needed for evictions.

Sources say Gretel Killeen won’t be hosting Seven’s version of Big Brother

It’s understood former host Gretel Killeen was sounded out about the role but her asking price was deemed too high.

We also understand Mike Goldman has not been approached at this point.

On 2 October we confirmed Big Brother would be returning to Australia after rumours had been circulating on twitter. We also revealed which network would be airing the series and despite media reports that Channel 9 still had an option on the series (which was true) but we believed our reporting would be proven correct (which it was).

Seven and Endomol Shine are changing the very format of the show but the changes might just clique with viewers, even those of us who might be sceptical. There’s no doubt the series has to evolve and casting will be the key but it appears some lessons have been learned from UK series The Circle, which is a fresh take on the Big Brother format.

Seven will make their official announcement at their UPFRONTS event on Wednesday night.