"Big Brother" feels summer love

Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:15am EDT

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "Big Brother" is going back-to-back.

CBS is gearing up for a summer edition of its voyeuristic reality series to follow the winter run that's still on the air.

The network has aired "Brother" the past three summers. Once the Hollywood writers strike kicked in last November, CBS opted for the show's first in-season edition, which premiered in February.

Although a summer season of "Brother" always has been likely, the prospect of the series' first back-to-back run has been tempered by the current edition's modest ratings.

Season-to-date, the winter run has averaged just 6.6 million viewers, according to a Nielsen Media Research, despite some video outtakes of lurid bedroom (and bathroom) coupling that have made entertainment blog headlines.

Given the numbers, it was unclear whether CBS might opt to give the show a breather before bringing it back. But some "Brother" episodes have gone up against Fox's "American Idol," which offsets the larger audience benefits of airing in-season. And fans contend that the sun-drenched summer atmosphere is ideal for the show.

CBS has not announced a premiere date for the summer edition.

Reality fans also could face another unprecedented back-to-back series run because of the strike: With Fox's "Hell's Kitchen" to premiere in-season for the first time next month, the show also might have its regular summer version. The network has a second run on tap, having ordered two editions shot during the show's recent production cycle.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter