Channel 4 in the U.K. has confirmed that next year’s airing of "Big Brother" will be its last on the channel, Variety reports.
Now in its 10th season on Channel 4, the show is pulling about 2 million viewers per episode. At its peak, in 2002, each episode of the reality series was pulling about 8 million viewers in the U.K., the report says. (Conversely, here in the U.S., where the CBS version of "Big Brother" is already in season 11, its ratings are up 11% in overall ratings. For a story about CBS’ expanded "Big Brother" finale here in the U.S.,click here.)
Channel 4 is paying about $97 million a year to air the series, Variety says, a figure that it doubts will be matched by any other TV outlet in the U.K.
The demise of the show could lead to opporunites for U.S. based-distributors to place replacement programming on Channel 4 and its sibling network, E4, the report says.
Columnist Mark Lawson wrote in the U.K. newspaper The Guardian: “’Big Brother,’ after a decade, was killed by three things: the fact that it has stretched beyond the shelf-life of most television shows (very few of even the most successful entertainment formats thrive for longer than eight years); a general sense that the death of Jade Goody the loser who became its best known player, marked a symbolic full-stop; and the eerily collective decision by tabloids and entertainment magazines to withdraw coverage this year from a show to which they had previously devoted front pages."