Archive for Big Brother

Almost in the Big Brother House

Right here should be a picture of me frolicking in the Big Brother house, doing the games and eating slop.

The chalet-style A-Frame is this season’s romantic winter hideaway in BIG BROTHER: ‘TIL DEATH DO YOU PART, the ninth installment of the reality series

Ok, I’ve already sort of been in the BB house, but that was last summer and all I and the small group of TV writers invited to the field trip could do was cruise the walkways where the cameras slide along and peek in the glass. You can check out that article here.

It was so like going to the zoo.

But this time around we were actually going to live in the house for a day.

I can’t believe I came so close to getting into the Big Brother house, even if it was just for less than 12 hours.

CBS offered a handful of people a shot at going in to check the house out last month, but that darned herniated disc in my neck just kicked into high gear, and I had to bow out. I’m a huge fan of the show, although goodness knows why.

Talk about the ultimate guilty pleasure. But you can tell the real BB junkies from the rest of the pack by their devotion to watching “Bigh Brother After Dark,” the midnight to 3 a.m. live feed on Showtime2. Now that’s where you get the best dirt.

The twist this year is doing love matches between couples, but there’s no love lost between cougar Sheila, a former model who still thinks she’s a hottie, and schlupy Adam, the guy she thinks isn’t good enough for her. She’s a whiny thing and I’d give her the boot, except that she just might be the person to take the heat off an up-and-coming couple.

Adam, 29, a Public Relations Manager from Del Ray Beach, Florida – via Cherry Hill, NJ

Sheila, 45, a Former Model from Reseda, California Ð via Memphis, Tenn.

Jacob and Sharon were childhood sweethearts, destined for the happily-ever-after until Jacob cheated on her and they broke up. They have to work together as a couple now to stay in the game. Jacob sees this as his second chance, while Sharon wants to be anywhere by near him.

Jacob, 23, an Electrician from Dallas, Georgia

Sharon, 23, a Realtor from Olathe, Kansas

Purposely NOT paired together are Ryan and real-life girlfriend Jen, who have to pretend they don’t know each other.

Ryan, 27, a College Student from Columbus, Ohio

Jen, 26, a Bartender from Columbus, Ohio

Ah, the twists and turns of BB.

I’m starting a new blog soon called Get eLife and I think the whole Big Brother phenom fits right in. I’ve heard from people all over the country about how they have formed these discussion groups around Big Brother.

But what those groups really do is serve as wonderful support groups. Do you belong to any of them?

Let me know and we’ll chat, even if we have to bring it over to the new blog, where I’ll be writing about how technology and people intersect. And what better intersection that “Big Brother”?

OK, there’s probably better examples out there, but since I’m coming off a TV gig, this seems like a nice fit.

Meanwhile, tonight set up the new season which was rushed in because of the Writers Guild of America strike, The walkout might be over, but it’s going to take some time before Hollywood gets back on track.

Love is in the air as the 16 new Houseguests are paired up to compete in this seasonÕs BIG BROTHER: ‘TIL DEATH DO YOU PART, the ninth installment of the reality series. (standing, l-r) Sharon and Allison (seated, l-r) Chelsia, Sheila, Natalie, Jen and Amanda. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS. © 2008 CBS

Following tonight’s premiere, BIG BROTHER: ‘TIL DEATH DO YOU PART will be broadcast each week at 9 p.m. Tuesdays , 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 8 p.m. Sundays. That should plump out CBS’ schedule.

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“Jericho” “Big Brother” Back in Feb

Both “Jericho” and the first-ever winter “Big Brother” premiere on CBS on Feb. 12.

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Jake (Skeet Ulrich, right) and Hawkins (Lennie James, left)

Game shows and news magazines plump up CBS’ winter schedule, but at least one new series will be in the line-up announced today.

“The Captain,” premiering at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 28, is a comedy about a wildly eclectic group of people whose lives are intertwined through the place they all call home, a fabled Hollywood apartment building, El Capitan, which they’ve dubbed “The Captain.”

The comedy stars Fran Kranz (“The TV Set”), Chris Klein (“American Pie”), Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”), Raquel Welch (“The Three Musketeers”), comedian Al Madrigal, Valerie Azlynn (“Two and a Half Men”) and Joanna Garcia (“Reba”).

CBS has also completed production on episodes of the game show “Do You Trust Me.” A scheduling announcement will be made at a later date.

CBS’s Revised Programming Schedule Effective in January and February:

Wednesday, Jan. 2
8:00-9:00 PM POWER OF 10 (Premiere)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: NY

Sunday, Jan. 13
9:00-11:00 PM COMANCHE MOON (Part One)

Tuesday, Jan. 15
9:00-11:00 PM COMANCHE MOON (Part Two)

Wednesday, Jan. 16
9:00-11:00 PM COMANCHE MOON (Part Three)

Tuesday, Jan. 22
10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS MYSTERY

Monday, Jan. 28
8:30-9:00 PM THE CAPTAIN (Series Premiere)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: MIAMI

Tuesday, Jan. 29
10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS MYSTERY

Thursday, Feb. 7
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR 16 (16th Edition Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM CSI
10:00-11:00 PM WITHOUT A TRACE

Tuesday, Feb. 12
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM BIG BROTHER 9 (Premiere)
10:00-11:00 PM JERICHO (Season Premiere)

Wednesday, Feb. 13
8:00-9:00 PM BIG BROTHER 9 (Wednesday Premiere)
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: NY

Sunday, Feb. 17
7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
8:00-9:00 PM BIG BROTHER 9 (Sunday Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM COLD CASE
10:00-11:00 PM SHARK

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“Big Brother” Back, Needs Bodies

Yes, boys and girls, it’s true. “Big Brother” will be filling space early next year since it would appear strikers are in for the long haul.

Now, they just need some of you to move into the house.

CBS announced a nationwide casting call beginning Saturday in various cities across the country. Not Oakland, San Jose or even San Francisco. For Bay Area people, you can still send in your application.

For those living a shoe box, “Big Brother 9” follows a group of strangers living together in a house outfitted with dozens of cameras and microphones recording their every move 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

One by one, the houseguests vote each other out of the house until at the end of three months, the last remaining houseguest wins the grand prize.

BIG BROTHER 9 CASTING CALL – Dates/Cities/Locations and Local Times:

Nov. 17 noon to 3 p.m. Los Angeles — Exclusive Casting Studios, 7700 Sunset Blvd.

Nov. 17 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Columbia, S.C. — WLTX-TV, 6027 Garners Ferry Road

Nov. 18 noon to 8 p.m. New York — NY Castings, 243 West 30th Street, 3rd. Floor

Nov. 23 7 to10 p.m. Houston — Meridien, 1503 Chartres St.

Dec. 1 2 to 5 p.m. Houston — Moes Grill & Bar, 5000 Katy Mills Circle

Dec. 1 noon to 3p.m.Schaumburg, IL- Woodfield Mall, “Cool Waves” Nordstrom lower level

Dec. 1 noon to 3 p.m. Atlanta —America’s Mart, 240 Peachtree Street 1st Fl. Rm. A

Dec. 1 7 to 10 p.m. Brooklyn, NY — Duff’s Brooklyn, N. 3rd Street & Kent Avenue

Dec. 1 noon to 3 p.m. Charlotte, N.C. — Cans, 500 West 5th Street

Dec. 1 10 p.m. to midnight Chicago — Ontourage, 157 W. Ontario Street

Dec. 1 noon to 3 p.m. Hillsboro, Ore. — The Streets of Tanasbourne, 19350 NW Emma Way

Dec. 1 1 to 4 p.m. Kansas City, MO —Screenlands Crossroads Theater, 1656 Washington St.

Dec. 7 10 p.m. to midnight Columbus, Ohio — Spice Bar, 491 N. Park Street

Dec. 7 noon to 3 p.m. Scottsdale, Ariz. — Suede Lounge, 7333 E. Indian Plaza

Dec. 8 noon to 3 p.m. Boston — Felt, 533 Washington Street 3rd & 4th Floor

Dec. 8 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Broomfield, Colo. — FlatIron Crossing, 1 West FlatIron Crossing Drive In the Dillard’s Court

Dec. 8 2 to 5 p.m. Columbus, Ohio — Park Street Patio, 533 Park Street

Dec. 8 noon to 3 p.m. Tampa, Fla. — The Dubliner Irish Pub, 2307 W. Azeele Street

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Big Brother leaves home

Well, it’s finally over.

I have to admit, until I visited the “Big Brother” house last July, I had never really gotten into the series. After the visit, I was hooked.

Guess that’s what happens when you look Evel Dick in the eye through the two-way mirror! On that day, he was packing his bags, sure he was leaving the house. He sang to himself, turned to look at himself in there mirror and there we were nose-to-nose.

Creepy. Yet, that day I got invested in an Evel Dick win.

Now the votes are cast and Dick’s a winner, and says he plans on using his $500,000 winnings on taking a trip around the world. And spreading a little Evel wherever he goes.

Now the only question is whether the teary Eric will get to keep his cutie-pie girlfriend Jessica now that she knows he was America’s Player. I swear, I thought E was going to start sobbing at any minute during tonight’s results show.

As for Jessica, she’s got a nasty streak in her. If you doubt that, don’t forget the look she flashed to her former BFF in tonight’s finale.

So, any thoughts?

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Big Brother comments:

Since this is a pilot project, there’s bound to be a few glitches. No. 1 is that the comments aren’t posting to the right anymore, so I’m going to just start posting them inside this blog item.
And sorry about outing you Candace….

Oh. My. God. Sue, you have outed me. That was a PRIVATE conversation!!!

Well, it is fascinating what with all the action on BB8 ending for the most part on Thursday, and this father/daughter duo having to stay in the house, with absolutely nothing to do, until Tuesday. They’re earning their money, these two. And honestly, can’t BB up the prize money? After taxes, the winner doesn’t get much. You couldn’t assure me of a win and coop me up in this house, with these people, and as a capper, have me spend five days alongside a pouty daughter who’s a poor sport unless she wins, and then she’s magnaminous and tells people she loves them.

Not like I watch the show closely or anything.

Sadly, though, Evel Dick has slowly descended into insanity today, taking his boredom and frustration out on first the washer that appeared to not be working, and then giving up and hosing down the backyard for no apparent reason. He later moved to a long soak in the hot tub with a Marlboro Red, every once in a while chuckling to himself. Which was rather creepy. Then he got out of the hot tub, sat down on in the backyard and screamed, “WHAT WAS THE SCORE OF THE JETS GAME?” He went on to rant that the first they he wanted to do when he got out was to sit down with a (expletive) newspaper. Good news for those of us in this business. Through it all, Dani has slept – apparently pouting from a bad night last night when the pair got questions from the jury, and Dani, thinking her dad is going to win, supposedly accused him of campaiging against her (his daughter, mind you) and then pouted in bed. She has amazing fortitude.

But really, I’m only casually watching this stuff. I swear.

Oh wait! Dani is up and about! Must return to the live feed….

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Emmy makes Big Brother wait

With the Emmy’s going on tonight, there’s not much going on at the Big Brother house.

Or is there?

Candace Murphy’s watching the live feed and talks about what’s going on. Also, for those who want to fill in the blanks, “Big Brother” offers a recap show tonight. What were your favorite moments from the show?

In the meantime, here’s the column I wrote about visiting the Big Brother house in July:

THERE HE WAS, just a few feet away from me, singing and dancing around the room all by himself while he busily packed his bag in anticipation of moving.
As I edged closer to the two-way mirror, the tattooed rocker turned to check himself out in the mirror and suddenly I was nose-to-nose with Evel Dick.


Watching CBS’ “Big Brother” is one of the guiltiest of pleasures, but actually going into the “Big Brother” house to lurk along the “camera cross” that weaves around the domicile and enables the cameras to keep close tabs on the inhabitants is, well, mesmerizing.

And makes you feel just a little bit sooty.

This is the eighth season of the reality show, which began with modest ratings in July before picking up steam in the last few weeks.

In a summer that has shown weak ratings all around the remote, “Big Brother” has actually started to show some life, with ratings in the all-important 18-49 demo up 33 percent this week. The show’s finale will air on Sept. 18.

In addition to the broadcast show, the premium cable/satellite network Showtime Too offers nightly live coverage from 9 to midnight. That feed is edited only for slanderous statements, and, for cost considerations, music that Dick or someone else might hum.

Do you have any idea what they get for a few bars of “Happy Birthday to You”? Well, that’s another column.

A few weeks ago, “Big Brother” producer Allison Grodner took five TV critics on a grand tour of the “Big Brother” house. We wore black so that the housemates couldn’t see us behind the mirrors. The house is located on the CBS lot, and it’s not so much a house as a warehouse.
Inside, some bleary-eyed editors keep tabs on a bank of monitors 24/7. They mark the most interesting story trends, which they weave together for the thrice-weekly telecasts. Although the editors say they don’t have favorites, they obviously appreciate people like Dick, who is always offering some fireworks, and crazy Jen, the Hollywood nanny who’s crazier than an inbred Chihuahua.

The reality show, in which reality plays a very small role, follows the housemates around, recording their every move — and that includes a potty cam that Grodner assures has such poor quality you really can’t get any detailed shots.

In our peek around the place, there was a narrow escape from seeing one resident emerge from his shower.

The roommates are given surreal “tests” that range from Queen of Hearts croquet to hanging upside down on pendulums. The group also must earn its food in contests and can be reduced to eating something known as “slop.”

So, of course, we asked Grodner if her team could whip up a little slop for us to taste. It’s not really all that bad, especially if you grew up with a mom who couldn’t quite make a proper bowl of oatmeal. The unflavored multigrain hot mash might not be too bad with a dollop of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon.

Grodner says her team literally lives in the building, devoting its entire life to the show while it’s on the air. The team eats, breathes and lives the experience, which is not unlike monitoring zoo animals.

This year’s theme for the house is “Alice in Wonderland,” so the props have kind of a whimsical feel about them. Inside the house, there are doors so small you have to stoop to go through them, big and small beds that look like you just entered the home of the Three Bears and a giant tea cup in the yard where the people can just hang out.

The only place the housemates can see real sunlight is in the yard, where the roof has been cut out of the warehouse. There’s a little pool and other toys for them.

As we walked around the narrow dark hall, which looked and smelled like a Halloween haunted house, we peered in to see Jen snoozing at 6 at night. It was like waiting for the bear to wake up at the zoo. You almost wanted to tap on the glass to see what would happen.

The “front” of the house, where the evicted guests go to be interviewed by Julie Chen, has mock stained glass, faux topiary and statues.

“I get the hot sheets every day, where someone logs the hot quotes, the headlines of what happens. It’s like a soap opera,” Chen says. “On Wednesdays, we go over everything and see what questions we want to ask (after the eviction).”

Chen calls the show “performance art,” which is as close as you can get to describing what happens in the house. Each person is consciously putting on a show for the audience — and for their fellow housemates.

This season, the twists included putting in Eric as “America’s Player,” which means he gets instructions from people logging onto the Web site suggesting he do certain things, such as give Jessica the silent treatment, or to make sure a certain person (Dustin, for instance) gets put up for eviction. The other twist was having three couples in the house who were once close and are now on the outs. One pair was Dick, at 44 the oldest resident, and his estranged daughter Daniele, 20.

“I want to see Dick stay in the house because of the relationship with his daughter,” Chen says. “And Jen is just fun to watch. I would like to hang out with her because she’s just fun and I would be very disappointed if Jen was voted out.”

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