‘Big Brother’: What Is the Premise of the Show?

CBS reality competition show Big Brother has aired yearly with former news anchor and The Talk personality Julie Chen Moonves as host. Its innovative use of Live Feeds has cultivated one of the most rabid online fanbases who can take their love for certain houseguests too far. Many of the biggest reality television stars of the early 2000s hailed from the show, including BB2 winner Dr. Will Kirby and four-time player and fan-favorite Janelle Pierzina. What is Big Brother about, and where is the series filmed?

Big Brother Houseguests will live in a house that celebrates all things camp
Big Brother Houseguests will live in a house that celebrates all things camp! | Monty Brinton

What is ‘Big Brother’ about?

Adapted from the Dutch version of the same name, the CBS reality competition series revolves around several, usually 16 players, living in a house together fitted with cameras and microphones where viewers can hear and see everything through internet Live Feeds.

Every week, the houseguests face off for Head of Household in which the winner lives in a luxurious room but must nominate two players for eviction.

Those competitors, the HOH, and three randomly selected houseguests then compete for the Power of Veto, which allows the holder to save a nominee or keep the selections the same. If a houseguest is saved, the HOH chooses another competitor to fill the seats.

Finally, the other players, excluding the HOH and nominees, vote for who they want to send home. The last several players make up the jury, who vote for one of the remaining two houseguests to win the title and $500,000 grand prize. Since its inception in 2000, television personality Julie Chen Moonves has hosted the series.

Where is ‘Big Brother’ filmed?

For the first five seasons, the show took place in a smaller sound stage studio with a built-in backyard inside the Los Angeles-based CBS Studio Center. Additionally, the house stood only one story tall.

Starting in BB6, it moved to a larger studio loft in Stage 18 of the Studio Center, which allowed it to incorporate a second story that includes the HOH room.

The show also introduced house themes in the sixth season, named the House of Secrets, as the competitors had a previous connection with another houseguest.

Most recently, for Big Brother 22, it incorporated an “All-Stars” theme with BB legends and their memorable quotes gracing the walls.

Because the house is located inside of a public studio center, fans have snuck up by the backyard and used a megaphone to yell messages to the houseguests, usually with the intent of ruining someone’s game by exposing their lies.

CBS highly discourages the behavior and cuts the Live Feeds when the houseguests discuss the outside information.

Is ‘Big Brother’ returning in 2021?

CBS renewed the long-running competition series in Oct. 2020 for its 23 season, with Moonves returning as the host.

The show will debut in the summer, which is typical of all the seasons except for All-Stars due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Additionally, it will likely feature all fresh faces as casting directors have urged viewers to apply.

While it hasn’t been confirmed yet, the series will probably air on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.