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Big Brother Canada Shuts Down Production on Season 8

The houseguests had previously been entirely unaware of coronavirus concerns

Lindsay MacDonald

Update 3/24/20: Global and Insight Productions have announced that production on Season 8 of Big Brother Canada has officially shut down. "Big Brother Canada is a labour of love for so many, and even though it hurts to say goodbye to the season, it's the right thing to do," said Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox. "On behalf of the incredible people who put this show together, thank you to everyone who started this journey with us. Please take care and be safe!"

The final episode of Big Brother Canada Season 8 will now air Wednesday, April 1 at 7/6c.

For most of us, constant news updates about COVID-19, aka coronavirus, seems unavoidable at this point, but there were a few small groups of people who were completely unaware of the current health crisis: Big Brothercontestants.

The contestants on current international seasons of Big Brother were apparently completely unaware of the coronavirus pandemic due to the media blackout all show participants are subjected to. The premise of Big Brotherrequires "houseguests" to completely isolate themselves from the outside world, including any and all communication with those outside the house. That blackout meant that up until very recently, these isolated groups of people were unaware of how serious the global pandemic had become.

Those currently in the Big Brother Germany house this season have been isolated there since Feb. 6, excepting four contestants who were brought in on March 6. Houseguests on Big Brother Brazil and Big Brother Canada, who entered their isolation periods in early January and early March, respectively, faced similar situations. The contestants on Big Brother Canada even discussed with one another the "strange" disappearance of the live audience the show had from one week to the next, when the series opted to eliminate that aspect of the show as a precaution.

Big Brother Canada participants have since been informed of the pandemic, and all have reportedly opted to stay in the house and remain on the show. There are also plans to inform the houseguests of Big Brother Brazil of the pandemic.

As for Big Brother Germany, the cast was recently informed of coronavirus developments, and the show plans to have a live special episode on March 17, in which housemates will discuss the growing crisis and be allowed to ask questions. They'll also reportedly get video messages from their families.

A spokesperson for the show's production company, Endemol Shine, gave the following statement to TV Guide: "The health and wellbeing of Big Brother Housemates is our priority. All current productions were informed last week that the usual format rules regarding outside news do not apply in this instance, and it was requested that they inform their respective housemates of the evolving situation regarding COVID-19. The majority of Housemates have already been briefed and this process will be complete today (17th March)."