Channel 5 will replace axed Big Brother with more original drama

The end of an era!

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Channel 5 has revealed the money normally spent on Big Brother will now be invested into original programming.

The broadcaster announced last week that Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother have been axed, with the 19th series of Big Brother, currently airing, being the last.

Now, it’s been confirmed the money usually spent on producing the mega franchise will be redirected towards other projects, namely original TV shows.

Ryan Thomas wins the Celebrity Big Brother Final
Ryan Thomas won the last-ever series of Celebrity Big Brother earlier this month (Credit: Brett D Cove / Splash)

Read more: Channel 5 announces Big Brother and CBB have been axed

Bob Bakish, the chief exec of Viacom, which owns Channel 5, said: “We thought the time was right to take the next step and that included taking that Big Brother money essentially and spending it on original commissions.”

He described Big Brother as a “pretty expensive show” and said axing it freed up money to focus on original drama and strengthening the Channel 5 brand.

Emma Willis, CBB
Emma Willis is the host of BB and CBB (Credit: Splash/Grant Buchanan)

According to The Sun, he also said that axing Big Brother was nothing to do with the actual show itself, it was just a business decision based on a long-term goal for Channel 5.

“This is a decision we made based on the evolution of Channel 5 which again is a multi-year process we’ve been on.
“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.”

Rylan Clark-Neal hosts the BB and CBB spinoff show Bit On The Side (Credit: Channel 5)

As for whether Big Brother could air on another channel in the future, he told Radio Times: “Someone else could see that as a great opportunity with one big decision to pick up a piece of audience.”

Five newly-commissioned dramas have been announced to add something new to Channel 5’s image and scheduling.

Ben Frow, director of programmes, said: “Home-grown drama is the missing ingredient from Channel 5’s schedules, so its genuinely exciting to be able to unveil a range of new projects from such an array of talented producers.

“I hope they will give viewers yet another reason to take a fresh look at Channel 5 as we continue to overhaul our schedules from top to bottom.”

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It’s still not sunk in!

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The channel won its first Bafta this year for Cruising With Jane McDonald, and the presenter said in her acceptance speech that it was testament the channel’s “evolution”.

Endemol Shine’s global product Big Brother will be cut from schedules after a final series, with news of the change following a controversial run of the Celebrity version.

The network is looking to evolve further and develop home-grown programming, including 10-part series Clink, set in a female prison.

The last series of CBB sparked controversy when Roxanne Pallett accused Ryan Thomas of punching her during what appeared to be a play fight. She later apologised and said she’d got it wrong (Credit: Channel 5)

Read more: Emotional Emma Willis discusses Big Brother axe

In 2019, crime thriller 15 Days will be airing, as will revenge four-parter Cold Call. Channel 5 has also acquired the rights to air the six-part series Blood.

There are also plans for a feature-length murder mystery based on a 1920s murder, with a title yet to be confirmed.

Channel 5 was recently crowned Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh Television Festival.

Are you sad to see Big Brother go? Excited about new original content on Channel 5? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!

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