2000: Voyeurism TV comes to CBS with 'Big Brother'
On this day in 2000, CBS debuted its version of the Dutch reality/competition show, Big Brother.
The show placed ten "houseguests" from different walks of life in a house full of cameras and microphones. For 87 days, the group lived there without access to the outside world, while the cameras recorded their interactions, conversations and confrontations. As the days pass, participants are able to nominate participants for elimination, with viewers assisting with the decision via telephone voting. The final three contestants left in the house are awarded first, second and third place cash prizes.
Throughout the years, producers have tweaked the format, adding in various challenges and guidelines and changing the mix of contestants to maintain viewer interest. The network also offers viewers 24-7 access to the Big Brother house cameras via the internet — for a fee.
Since its debut, Big Brother has been hosted by Julie Chen, who's also a current host of the CBS daytime show, The Talk.
Currently, versions of Big Brother are being produced in numerous countries worldwide, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Finland, to Bulgaria, Israel, India, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
CBS's Big Brother begins its 14th season on July 12.