How is a special edition of
Big Brother - that show about people who lay around half-naked doing nothing all summer - possibly going to work in the dead of winter? "By turning up the heat - and that's not just a publicity slogan," says Allison Grodner, exec producer of the CBS hit. "The house is usually air-conditioned, but no longer. It's going to get quite hot inside. I think you're going to see a lot more people taking off their clothes."
This ninth season of BB has a big twist that's also designed to amp up the steam factor: All of the 16 houseguests (which include a "bikini barista" and a Hollywood paparazzo) are single, available and looking for love. ( See the full cast here.) "Through research and compatibility testing, they've been teamed in the house with their perfect love match - their soulmate as it were - and they'll play the game as partners," Grodner says. "They'll live together, share HOH and POV wins and be evicted as a couple. This may prove a blessing or a curse. That's why we've tagged this season Big Brother: 'Til Death Do You Part."
Grodner promises this latest batch of hamsters is "remarkably fresh and unique in their personalities. No one's trying to be Dr. Will or the next Evil Dick."
Big Brother premieres Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 9 pm/ET, and will also air Wednesdays and Sundays at 8. - Michael Logan
More on Big Brother 9:
" Photo gallery: Meet the 16 housemates
" Photo gallery: Take a tour of the new house!
" TV Guide Network's Kimberly Caldwell braves the Big house