Channel 5 poised to axe Big Brother for 2019

The broadcaster is preparing for a Big Brother-free schedule next year, channel controller Ben Frow reveals

Big Brother housemates in the Big Brother house

Channel 5 is preparing for life without Big Brother next year.

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Controller Ben Frow told the Edinburgh Television Festival that he was planning to free up the 2019 schedule for fresh programmes and indicated that a new contract with Big Brother production company Endemol Shine had not been agreed.

Asked about the reality show’s future on C5, where it has had a home since 2011, Frow said: “It is clear. I have planned for a year without Big Brother. Never say never, and you keep all options over, but the contract runs out at Christmas.”

He added: “We are doing a lot of rethinking. I am over quite a lot of things. I don’t want more of what I have got. We need things we haven’t thought of.

“Creative renewal is driven by a tough year. We are not about completely reinventing the wheel – there are no new ideas, there are just new ways of doing old ideas. You have to free up the schedule and open it up to new ideas.”

The current contract with Endemol Shine ends at the close of the year with one more civilian series scheduled to air in September.

However Frow’s remarks may seem familiar to eagle-eyed TV industry watchers.

At last year’s Edinburgh Television Festival, he also cast doubt on the future of the series, telling delegates that he would rather his channel didn’t air the show.

“I would be much happier if the channel did not have Big Brother on it,” Frow said. “I like the ratings but I want to create our own programmes. I don’t really want other people’s programmes. I want my own programmes that we have created.”

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Channel 5 was named Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh Television Festival.