On 16th September 1999, nine housemates moved into a purpose-built house in the Netherlands, equipped with 24 cameras. Having contact with the outside world, the housemates were watched 24/7 by Big Brother. The first episode aired on Dutch broadcaster Veronica (RTL), and a cultural phenomenon was born.
Since then, Big Brother has taken the world by storm. 480 series have aired across 62 markets, producing over 28,000 episodes. More than 7,000 housemates have spent over 35,000 days in the house. Over 5,000 live evictions have taken place, drawing huge audiences across the globe.
Twenty years on, Big Brother is enjoying a global resurgence. This iconic reality format continues to deliver hit primetime ratings in long-running markets such as the US, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Israel, and the Philippines, and continues to evolve, with high profile returns confirmed for 2019 and 2020 in Australia, Germany, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Greece and beyond.
Recent highlights include the first series to be filmed in a non-purpose built house (Poland), an epic 38 week series in the Philippines, and a record-breaking 1.5 billion votes for an eviction in Brazil. New technology and remote production solutions enable producers to explore ever-increasing creative and production possibilities, whilst the unique multi-platform model has been proved to attract key younger demographics.
In 2020, Big Brother productions are adapting to the COVID-19 crisis and continuing to provide relevant, relatable entertainment content, attracting stay-at-home viewers in their millions.