Channel 5 explains decision to axe Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother

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Channel 5 has explained its decision to axe Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.

Channel 5 confirmed last Friday morning that it had axed both shows after seven years. The series had started on the channel in 2011 after a decade on Channel 4, but won’t be back after the current run ends.

The decision was made despite Celebrity Big Brother dominating ratings for Channel 5 in its latest viewing figures.

Now Bob Bakish, CEO of Channel 5’s parent company Viacom, has spoken out about the decision.

He said: “We continue to do reality programming all around the world and I don’t think it says anything about Big Brother broadly speaking, this is a decision we made based on the evolution of Channel 5 which again is a multi-year process we’ve been on.

“A place where we’re getting traction on the original programming side and where we thought it was right. I don’t want that to be interpreted as any kind of broader judgement on Big Brother. Again it was the right decision for us for this marketplace.”

The TV boss explained that Channel 5 would spend the money from Big Brother on “original commissions and quality drama”.

As for Big Brother, it may not be away for long.

The Times reports that ITV has bid £3 billion for the Endemol Shine group which makes Big brother as well as other TV favourites such as MasterChef and Peaky Blinders.

It’s led to speculation that Big Brother could make a move to ITV2 or ITVBe.

An industry insider told The Sun newspaper at the weekend: “Celebrity Big Brother is a hugely popular format and a massive brand that attracts millions of absolutely dedicated and importantly, young fans. That makes it extremely valuable when it comes to advertising.

“And there is no way another channel won’t snap it up and bring it back, probably as early as next year.

“Channel Five getting rid of it is a massive gamble. It’s still their most popular show, so it may be a decision they live to regret.”

Production company Endemol said “Whilst disappointed not to reach an agreement with Channel 5 the decision opens up a new chapter and we are excited about future possibilities for Big Brother in the UK.”

For now, the final series of Big Brother on Channel 5 airs Sunday-Friday nights.

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