C4 revamps sched: dumps Big Brother

Chris Forrester

It’s no real surprise that the UK’s Channel 4 has decided to drop Big Brother. The Endemol format, after a highly successful 10-year run, has lost favour with even its most avid fans and no longer generates ratings. Its current series is typically reaching just 2m viewers. Not so long ago it could be counted on for 8m. Next year, Series 11, will be the last (and there’s also a Celebrity Big Brother to come). But there’s an upside for Channel 4.

That is with Big Brother’s costs out of the way the publicly-owned channel now has an extra £20m to spend on fresh drama plus other new programming ideas – which will be needed to fill the 200 hours or so of programming gap left by BB.

Channel 4’s bosses are describing this new opportunity as the chance for a “creative overhaul” of the network, and a chance for the broadcaster to get back to its public broadcasting roots.