Exec Producers Discuss New ‘Big Brother Over The Top’ Details: Live Move-In, Waking Hours, & More

We’ve got a lot of questions about the new Big Brother Over The Top season starting up on Wednesday night and while we’ve heard a lot of scattered details there’s a new interview today from THR with a good dose of information straight from the BB executive producers.

Big Brother Executive Producers Allison Grodner & Rich Meehan

Executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan are again running the show for this latest Big Brother series which makes them the top source of BBOTT details and there’s a lot of it. You’ll want to read the full interview but here’s the rundown on highlights for what to expect.

Big Brother Over The Top will obviously borrow heavily from the CBS broadcast version, but not everything is going to make the leap. “OTEV, Zingbot and a lot of the stuff that people love from the broadcast show — all of those are staying in the broadcast world,” explains Meehan.

Yes, the winner of BBOTT will be decided entirely by the audience with no Jury this season, says Grodner: “The jury is a staple for the summer show and we thought that this would be an interesting experiment that obviously hasn’t been tried here in the U.S. since the beginning.”

Viewers are voting on the winner, but it sounds like they won’t be interfering with nominations as I thought they might with possibly giving some of the HGs safety from danger that week. “There’s a nice balance between the houseguests having control in terms of nominations and evictions and other things within the house,” says Grodner.

Update: Scratch that. In another interview Grodner says, “We can tell you that [viewers] will be involved in nominations.”

Don’t expect the CBS version to lose its Jury just because BBOTT is doing away with it this year. “In the summer edition, we’d like to keep the jury,” explains Grodner.

We know that Alex Willett and Morgan Willett are sisters, but production won’t be forcing that reveal. It’ll be up to the sisters who will be each playing their own game, says Grodner. “They will be playing as two houseguests. They’re going into the house together. The question is how will they choose to play that. Will they be upfront about being sisters? Will they try to hide that?”

The cast is predominantly southern, but both producers say that wasn’t intentional or a targeted region for the BBOTT cast of Houseguests.

As for the house itself, there are changes and things will look different, but this time they had 4 days instead of around 8 weeks. Heh. I’m wondering if someone’s construction budget just got slashed for next season. “It’s a smaller transformation than normal. We took our summer house and modified it as quickly as we possibly could in three or four days. It will have a slightly different look. A couple of the rooms will be the same with maybe some subtle changes. The “Have Not” room will change a bit,” says Meehan.

This Wednesday night’s premiere show is entirely live. The move in is live and will be online for viewers as it happens. “This all will roll out live! They’ll be moving on Wednesday night live! This will be how the show will be. You will see it all!” says Grodner.

More BBOTT details continue on the next page…


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  1. Terrible. No good. Listen, even I don’t know exactly what I want when I watch this show. You can’t judge people on first impressions, and that’s what giving outsiders the power to do is. It’s stupid. I HATED Paul. Hated him. He would have been gone if I had that power, and the numbers prove it. However, he’s a nice and funny guy and I wish he won the show. THE GAME should be decided and played by the PLAYERS only. That’s it. Or it becomes a popularity contest. Paul wouldn’t have made it to the end. SO IT MEANS people are just going to be APPEALING TO THE VIEWER! You want fights? You want drama? Well, you won’t get too much of it, because once we nominate jerks that fight too much, they’ll smarten up and just sleep more in front of the cams.

    • Not necessarily. Most of the HG HATED Evel Dick, but America LOVED to hate him and put into play obstacles for Eric (America’s Player) that helped ED in the game during BB 8. Therefore, sometimes America can pick a player that is both hated and loved alike and it makes the game more interesting. I am afraid some of these options give viewers too much power…but I am hoping it will work out without compromising the game.

      • What you’re describing and how this show is set up are 2 different things. It’s one thing to have people sabotage stuff and what not, and then see how the HG’s respond. That’s fine, and that’s what BB should give us. Let us select weird punishments, and crazy little saboteur missions, and all the fun stuff. If we have minor influence on the game, like giving a person safety one week (but we can’t ever help them again) or they can never be a Have-Not.. Cool. Still pretty minor. Letting us select the winner is stupid, and it sounds like we’ll have some other influence that could also decide who HG’s could choose to nominate from? I don’t like that at all.

      • In your original post, you said HG will start appealing to viewers in order to cultivate some sort of favoritism from the viewers…and I responded with how some players (like ED) are BOTH loved and hated by HG and America alike, so I do not see that as being an issue–and I still don’t. America will always have a face and will influence that players game in favor of them. It has been happening for years.

        What I do see as an issue is viewers having too much control in respect to nominations and evictions–and I mention how I think some of the options they are giving viewers might be too much. In this we are in agreement; however, I am also choosing to keep an open mind and wait to see how it pans out before making judgments.

        I’m hoping BBOTT will be amazing b/c the live feeds will constantly be buzzing… :)

    • We’re not controlling the HOH or nominations or evictions. They said we would vote on the winner so we will only control who wins between two people. We don’t control how they get there.

      • LG, it sounds like the viewers will actually have a hand in the noms and the evictions as well. Hopefully not too much though.

      • Oh then I read the article wrong. I thought we were only voting the winner because they’re not having a jury. I hope we don’t control it all because some people vote on favorites and not game. But I’m watching it and hope it’s good.

      • So did Matt misinterpret this?

        “Viewers are voting on the winner, but it sounds like they won’t be interfering with nominations as I thought they might with possibly giving some of the HGs safety from danger that week. ‘There’s a nice balance between the houseguests having control in terms of nominations and evictions and other things within the house,’ says Grodner.”

      • Not too sure Saturn, as I didn’t notice Grodner’s quote. But, here’s what Rich Meehan said in this article:

        “And there will be lots of fun and interactive elements for people. Some are already released. We know now that America will be choosing the winner. We know that they’re going to choose the 13th castmember. But they’re also going to play a role in nominations. They will play a role in the eviction and they will play a role in the twists that roll out this fall. There’s going to be lots of interactivity for fans.”

      • Grodner says “houseguests having control in terms of nominations and evictions” which sounds like HGs are doing the noms, not us if they really have control. But considering Grodner & Meehan are saying they’re still figuring things out (ie. the DRs) then who knows the right answer here.

      • Above quote in the article: ‘In another interview Grodner says, “We can tell you that [viewers] will be involved in nominations.”‘

    • ^ That’s a great point…I would have happily voted both Paul AND Victor out at the beginning of the season because I thought they were obnoxious and arrogant…now they are 2 of my favorites of all time. Hopefully this season doesn’t disappoint.

  2. Still don’t know the answer to the most important question – What will happen if you can’t watch live (i.e. East Coast, or just elsewhere at the time it “airs”)? Will the “episodes” be packaged up for viewing the next day on CBS All Access, or will you have to use the rewind function?

    Rewind is a non-starter, since you can only do it from a web-browser, which you can’t do on a TV-connected device (e.g. Roku, Apple TV, etc.). I guess you could Google Cast or AirPlay mirror, but that reduces video quality.

    If my wife and I are going to watch BBOTT, it’s going to be on the big-screen, together. And we’re not going to be up at 10pm or midnight to do so.

    Hopefully they’ve thought this through and will have an answer for our timezone. If not, we’ll still have our All Access subscription, but we’ll be watching BB Season 4, having just finished up Season 3.

    • I’m wondering the same… Because as a mother of 4, there’s no way I can catch things on the feeds as they happen and I don’t like sitting at the computer. Ever. I either use the iPad or my phone to view feeds so hopefully they have thought of this.

    • The episodes will be packages and available in a list of things to go back and watch. Last season on Roku I could go in and select specific clips/segments for Jeff interviews, etc. They’ll do that with these too.

      • Great to hear! Thanks for the info. Yes, can always get the clips on Roku, but just wasn’t sure they’d be packaging things this way.

  3. I can still see the DR stuff being scripted, to a degree. I mean, they’re going to be able to read and answer questions from the audience? That just means that production is going to go through everything they get to make sure nothing’s too revealing or controversial, or even hate-filled, for any particular HG.

    • DR scripting has Corey go in and they say “say XYZ” and Corey mumbles back “XYZ.” Then they say, that was okay, but say XYZ with more energy, and Corey tries to muster a pulse and again says “XYZ.”

      That’s the kind of scripted, coached DR sessions we want to avoid. If they’re live and we’re listening then production can’t have that sort of back and forth of redoing lines fed to them until they get it the way they want for the show.

      • Which will be different, for sure, and something we’re all looking forward to. But let’s face it. They’re not gonna give them questions from the audience that are purposely looking to screw over someone else. Like someone writes: “Dear HG, did you know that HG B has been throwing you under the bus just after the two of you formed an alliance?” THAT’S what I’m talking about.

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