The Nine Network’s reality competition Big Brother will return in 2014.
The news of the show’s recommission was announced during this evening’s finale episode, broadcast live across the eastern seaboard from the show’s headquarters at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast. During the finale, Tim Dormer was crowned the winner of the series and took home $250,000.
Speaking prior to the finale, Alex Mavroidakis, the show’s executive producer, told Mumbrella’s sister title Encore: “We’ll be back in 2014 and with any luck we’ll be here in 2015, 16 and 17. It was kind of a no-brainer for Nine.”
The series, produced by Southern Star and stripped across the week, has consistently hovered around the 800,000 mark, but performed well in the key advertising demographic of 25-to-54.
Mavroidakis said: “In new money, anything over 800,000 is a hit show and anything that wins the demos every night, the key demos, is a big hit show. We’re number one in the demos nearly every night of the week. It’s terrific that it’s still going well after all these years.”
When asked to predict the preliminary metro ratings for this year’s finale episode, Mavroidakis said: “We’d be happy with anything over a million. To do a million on a Wednesday night, in this climate, anything over a million is a massive win. 800,000 is the new million in today’s television.”
Big Brother returned to Australian television last year after a four year hiatus. It was originally broadcast on the Ten network for eight years before ratings declined and the show was no longer recommissioned.
The final series on Ten in 2008, hosted by Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson, was seeing a ratings average of around 800,000 viewers per episode – seen as a failure in the days before the secondary free to air channels fragmented viewing.
This year’s series has seen a marked increase in sponsorship and product integration with housemates appearing during ad breaks in commercials for air freshener Ambi Pur.
Mavroidakis said: “We only had two sponsors last year – Holden and KFC. We had 13 this year. Big Brother is a tough show for integration because we will never stage manage the housemates in the house in terms of ‘I’m going to eat some KFC today’. They might hate the KFC. So all sponsors are taking a risk but it’s a risk that almost always pays off.”
The two key brands that featured in product integration this season were KFC and Ambi Pur. Mavroidakis said: “We will always strategically put in rewards from sponsors at the right time. We will never just throw them in and have a gratuitous sponsor moment. It’s not like, ‘housemates, here’s some Ambi Pur. Go and sniff it and tell us how fabulous it is’. We don’t do that.”
Ambi Pur was behind a scene in the house where two of the housemates put fish under the pillows of female housemates while KFC was given to the housemates after they lost the task that controlled their shopping budget three weeks running.
Mavroidakis said: “Ambi Pur loved it, the viewers loved it. KFC integration this year was giving them KFC after they’d been on staples for three weeks. The housemates loved it, the viewers loved it, KFC loved it. When we integrate stuff into BB we do it smart.”
Brooke Hemphill travelled to the Gold Coast as a guest of Southern Star.