Here are some interesting bits and pieces from an interview with Rich Meehan and Allison Grodner ....


Did you have any hesitations at first with having two seasons essentially airing back-to-back?


Rich Meehan: I wouldn't say it was a hesitation. The one thing we wanted to do was make sure this version was different than the broadcast version. And it has things that made it unique and its own thing. It's funny we talk about the broadcast version, the first thing we look at is the weekly hours and then we get into the feeds and this is the opposite version of that. We're looking at the feeds and the live portion of the show and how to make it really interesting and engaging for people to watch on the feeds. We had to come up with ways to encourage people to watch and log on so we came up with the weekly schedule idea where we have all these weekly events. People can go to CBS All Access and watch everyday. There's at least two or three things going on. And there will be lots of fun and interactive elements for people. Some are already released. We know now that America will be choosing the winner. We know that they're going to choose the 13th castmember. But they're also going to play a role in nominations. They will play a role in the eviction and they will play a role in the twists that roll out this fall. There's going to be lots of interactivity for fans.

But were you worried at all with airing two times a year and having viewers lose interest?

Grodner: I guess we see that this is something that's different and unique. Although it still has Big Brother's brand and the power shifts of the head of household, veto and all of that, we feel like it's being re-imagined for this digital audience. It is more of a Big Brother adjacent. It's not the same thing as the summer show. We're not turning around three hours of television for broadcast every week. But there's different ways for people to get involved and to watch. This is a live event. It's 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The edited portions will be more recaps on a daily basis and a weekly show that will be familiar to people who have seen the broadcast version. But this is really about a live event. We felt that it was different and really added to what Big Brother is. We like to think we're technologically forward and groundbreaking in many ways and take advantage of new technology.

Meehan: We also are careful. There's a lot of things that are staples in the broadcast show that are only going to be in the broadcast shows. Like OTEV, Zingbot and a lot of the stuff that people love from the broadcast show -- all of those are staying in the broadcast world. They are not going to overlap into the digital world. The digital [edition] is going to be a new style, types of challenges, taking into account that everything has to be live and you can watch the challenges play out live. It's going to be a totally different experience for the challenges as well. But a lot of those things that are somewhat sacred to the broadcast are going to stay in the broadcast.


What was the decision-making process behind having America pick the winner?

Grodner: We wanted to make something that was more interactive this fall. The jury is a staple for the summer show and we thought that this would be an interesting experiment that obviously hasn't been tried here in the U.S. since the beginning. But it also has other elements. There's a nice balance between the houseguests having control in terms of nominations and evictions and other things within the house so for the audience to have control over the winner was something we were comfortable adding. There are things that haven't been announced yet and will be revealed the first week where the audience will still get involved and be able to impact the game like never before. So they will have a hand in some of these things, but not complete control over any one thing.


What was the decision-making process behind having America pick the winner?

Grodner: We wanted to make something that was more interactive this fall. The jury is a staple for the summer show and we thought that this would be an interesting experiment that obviously hasn't been tried here in the U.S. since the beginning. But it also has other elements. There's a nice balance between the houseguests having control in terms of nominations and evictions and other things within the house so for the audience to have control over the winner was something we were comfortable adding. There are things that haven't been announced yet and will be revealed the first week where the audience will still get involved and be able to impact the game like never before. So they will have a hand in some of these things, but not complete control over any one thing.


How were you able to switch up the house in such a short amount of time? Can you tease what the house will look like?

Meehan: It's a smaller transformation than normal. We took our summer house and modified it as quickly as we possibly could in three or four days. It will have a slightly different look. A couple of the rooms will be the same with maybe some subtle changes. The "Have Not" room will change a bit. It was a challenge to get in there and do as much as we possibly could with only three or four days knowing that normally when we turn the house around, what do we have, Allison, eight weeks or something?

Grodner: Yeah.

Meehan: This one we only had four days. I think it's a pretty significant change for just a few days.

Grodner: But there will be elements of the prior house.


For Wednesday night's premiere, is it a produced first episode or are we seeing everything live?

Grodner: No! This all will roll out live! They'll be moving on Wednesday night live! This will be how the show will be. You will see it all!


So you don't even know what to expect for the premiere?

Grodner: No idea! There's a schedule that's out there for the viewers to understand when there are moments, votes and competitions. We will go by that schedule. This is all so that the action is constant. For the first time ever, we're going to have curfews for people to be awake! Waking hours! Instead of logging on to see a lot of people sleeping like in the summer. The live feed is the primary focus. The recaps are just part of how you can watch and get involved, but it's not the primary method of delivering the show.




You can read the entire article @ TheHollywoodReporter