Despite soft ratings and possibly the worst reviews in television history, last summer's reality experiment, Big Brother, wasn't the big letdown the media portrayed it to be, insists CBS. In fact, network execs are considering a second go-round of the house-arrest game — especially since it doesn't have to do Survivor numbers to turn a profit.
"I'm not going to accept that Big Brother didn't do so well," CBS honcho Leslie Moonves said at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif. "Big Brother did just fine and, in fact, improved our summer ratings and our summer demographics. And, frankly, the last episode of Big Brother beat the Olympics, so by any stretch of the imagination, that's doing well."
Fair enough, if you're just crunching the numbers, but isn't there room for improvement?
"I don't think it was cast very well, to tell you the truth," Moonves conceded. "I think when you compare the cast of Big Brother to the two casts of Survivor, they're night and day... I think the game being played was not as well thought out as the Survivor game. To just give you a couple of instances, I don't think they followed up on some of the more interesting things that were going on in the house. In reviewing some of the tapes later on, there were more provocative storylines that could have been followed that were dropped."
If the show returns next summer — and Moonves said there's a "real good" chance it will — the network "will be more actively involved in the creative aspects" of the show. Giving it another shot won't be all that difficult, he added, noting that the house and equipment are still in place. "We can probably mount it fairly quickly."