Channel 5 'planning for a year without Big Brother' but show is NOT axed yet

celebrity big brother hosts emma rylan - 3

Channel 5 is planning its future without Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.

However the show is NOT yet officially axed, with contract negotiations still underway.

This year's summer series of CBB - which is currently airing nightly - could be the last ever to air on UK TV.

It's the final series in the current contract between Channel 5 and programme makers Endemol.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival this week, Channel 5 boss Ben Frow said of the future (via @AndyBizarre): "I have planned for a year without Big Brother. But never say never. The contract runs out at Christmas."

He added (via @mirrorjeffers): “You have to free up the schedule and open it up to new ideas. I am over quite a lot of things." #EdTVFest

Last month, the Daily Star on Sunday reported that the deal would NOT be renewed beyond the end of 2018.

A source told the tabloid: "After months of discussions it has been decided to axe Celebrity Big Brother. Ratings have dropped for the past few series so it isn’t worth the hefty price tag.”

Hosts Emma Willis and Rylan Clark-Neal have both given their support to the show amid rumours of its axe.

Rylan admitted recently: "If it didn’t come back I would be utterly devastated. I can’t imagine TV without Big Brother, I’d love to see it make 20 years — of course I would."

He added: ""It's a massive part of my life and I know it can be even better with the right TLC. I'd do everything in my power to make sure CBB and the civilian BB are still on the air."

And Rylan vowed: "I will fight to the death to make sure it never goes away. If I had the money and owned the channel, I would buy the programme and film it in my garden."

And Emma said earlier this year: "I hope they recommission it. I love it. They did brilliant things in January. I think they could do that for the summer series.”

Unfortunately, ratings for the new season haven't been all too impressive, averaging just over 1 million viewers.

The run will conclude in September before the potentially last ever Big Brother series.

Even if Channel 5 does drop Big Brother, it may not be the end of the show.

It could well be picked up by another channel or streaming service, just like Channel 5 took over the show when Channel 4 axed it in 2010.

For now, Celebrity Big Brother continues nightly on Channel 5. The 'civilian' run will start between September 8 and 14, with a brand new look.

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