Another season of “Big Brother” is upon us, and fear not: There will be hookups.
Season 19 of the venerable CBS reality show launches Wednesday, and executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan spoke to TheWrap about this year’s “Summer of Temptation” twist, in which houseguests will be offered money, power and safety, albeit with inherent risks.
“We knew that temptations had worked before on ‘Big Brother,’ even on season 2, and we just thought that it seems like an element of the game that has always been fun,” Meehan said. “We’ve done it sporadically, but why not do it bigger and wilder and crazier than we’ve ever done it before, and use it as a way to turn the game upside-down.”
Grodner said that this season’s cast includes plenty of standouts, not to mention that it skews older than usual.
“It’s a good diverse group, especially in the age range,” she said. “I think as a lot of people have noted, they’re definitely a little bit older than they’ve been over the past few years. Really good mix of characters and personalities and a cross-section of the country.”
The producers, who said that they haven’t yet heard whether “Big Brother: Over the Top” will return, pointed out that they enjoy seeing on-set romantic relationships — a.k.a. showmances — develop among the contestants.
“We have an amazing history — we’re not a dating show, but we have, I think, almost a better track record than some dating shows, in that we have three couples who are married, and two babies,” Grodner said. “It happens pretty intensely because the ‘Big Brother’ house is an intense experience.”
She continued, “We can tease that there’s already some showmances that have started in the time that we’ve been in the house prior to going live. There’s definitely already romances and hookups.”
One of the most memorable moments of “OTT” was when the final six contestants — who had been in the house since September — were stunned by host Julie Chen revealing that Trump had won the presidential election.
“That was amazing — they’re in a bubble, completely and totally,” Grodner said. “It was really interesting because I think there were some assumptions coming into the house on who would win and who would lose. There were supporters for both candidates in the house. Even the Trump supporters were incredibly surprised — I think it reflected the reaction of the world ultimately, but it was interesting to see it happen on a delay.”
Speaking of romance, is the “Big Brother” team changing the way it does things in light of the recent scandal surrounding an on-set hookup on “Bachelor in Paradise”? Grodner replied: “We do ‘Big Brother’ the way we do ‘Big Brother’ — all these shows have different styles of production and so forth. We’ve been concentrating on ‘Big Brother.'”
“Big Brother launches Season 19 on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.