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Tuesday, 27 March, 2001, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
US gets bigger, better Big Brother
UK Big Brother contestants
Big Brother in the UK was a huge ratings success
American TV bosses are hoping to stir up interest in the second series of Big Brother by making it more of a challenge for contestants.

Big Brother was a ratings success around the world but failed to make an impact in the US.

The success of the Survivor series has proved reality TV is extremely popular with Americans so CBS is trying to stoke up interest in Big Brother II.
American Big Brother contestants
The US Big Brother did not grab the imagination of viewers

Contestants are now being sought for the new show, expected to air in the summer.

The 10 new recruits will be shut away from the rest of society from June, unless the threatened actors and writers strike pushes it back.

The US Big Brother website is promising: "An exciting, cut-throat, dramatic competition that will require players to use brain, brawn and charm to win.

Dramatic

"The houseguests will now play by new rules and face new challenges."

They will be voted out by each other instead of by the public.

Only when the final three are left in the house will viewers get the chance to vote for the contestant they want to win the $500,000 (348,000) prize.

The show, based on a Dutch format, was hailed a success in the UK when it aired on Channel 4 last year, pulling in up to 10 million viewers.

Comic Relief's Celebrity Big Brother, broadcast by Channel 4 and BBC One, gripped the nation when six showbiz guests spent a week in the house to raise money.

A new series will air later this year.

See also:

17 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Dee big winner of Big Brother
16 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Life with Big Brother
16 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Big Brother's Craig still in spotlight
10 Nov 00 | Archive
Life on TV November 12 2000
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