Big Brother, around the world...
August 7, 2000 8:53 AM   Subscribe

Big Brother, around the world... Like Survivor, it started in Holland and Germany, then spread across continental Europe, and finally to the UK and USA. And like Millionaire, the duplication of the format is a good way of distinguishing cultural differences. The British version seems more candid than its American cousin, in keeping with Channel 4's character; it's also a lot less chummy. Anyone else keeping track of the two different houses?
posted by holgate (11 comments total)
I don't know. You should see some of the new reality tv show ideas being developed here
posted by tiaka at 9:08 AM on August 7, 2000

Hello world,

Just a picking some nits: Big Brother started in Holland last year; they're reopening for part II this september.

Survivor is slightly older and comes from Sweden. The makers of Survivor actually sued Big Brother owners for stealing their show. Lost the case.
posted by thijsk at 9:58 AM on August 7, 2000

Survivor, I think, started in Sweden as 'Expedition Robinson'. Last year they had lovely website for it made by Paragos: But this year's site is a bit more mundane.

Big Brother did start in Holland, made by Endemol, and the Swedes sued them... but lost.
posted by prolific at 9:58 AM on August 7, 2000

yikes... thijsk and I posted the same thing at the same time!
posted by prolific at 9:59 AM on August 7, 2000

high five, prolific!
posted by thijsk at 10:05 AM on August 7, 2000

Survivor, as it has been said a few times, started in Sweden and became a huge success. After the first season one of the competitors comitted suicide, which obviously started a debate in Denmark whether the show was to be launched. It did launch, however, and became just as big a success.

As for differences in the shows, I haven't seen the American edition of Survivor but it seems to be a bit more competitive than the Danish.
posted by Hjorth at 12:33 PM on August 7, 2000

I stand truly corrected ;)
posted by holgate at 1:52 PM on August 7, 2000

US version of Survivor: bunch of people taking themselves too seriously, with the 'tribal council', et al.

UK version: bunch of drunken english people having fun.

and don't forget.. Australia, blindly following the US has it's own version of Millionaire, and is in the process of making an aussie version of 'survivor'

posted by cheaily at 5:29 PM on August 7, 2000

Personally I prefer the concept behind Road Rules. A half dozen or so people working together. Only occasionally did they have the kids competing against each other. The better episodes were when people, who never knew each other before the show, had to work together to compete against some other group. That was more interesting. Not the petty bickering or the silliness, but how they strived past that to try and achieve various goals.

But then I'm not like the kind of person who is "intrigued at watching strangers more fucked up than they are." I still don't understand the appeal of Jerry Springer.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:10 PM on August 7, 2000

cheaily, if you are Australian... you would recall Andrew Denton's House From Hell (sorry, haven't bothered to find link) ... which might date back at least a year or two. I'm pondering on the possibility that that may had been the first 'reality' show of this sort (though i haven't even looked into it at the slightest)

And personally, i find the UK version incredibly, incredibly boring. As opposed to US's Survivor, yes. Sure they take it very seriously, but whats wrong with that? When one winning tribe won spears to catch fish, and the losing tribe made traps to catch rats, there was a level of amusement and family entertainment there.
posted by aki at 9:39 PM on August 7, 2000

Big Brother isn't doing so well in the US. It's doing all right, and the demographics are positively inspiring for CBS, which for years has been trying to appeal to someone - anyone - beyond the Geritol set, but it's not anything near the giant hit that Survivor is. In fact, the only edition of BB that's really killing in the ratings is the one that airs right after Survivor on Wednesdays.

It's probably at least partially due to the fact that BB is on six nights a week here. If you want to keep up with it, you have to invest a huge amount of time. It also doesn't help that BB is happening in real time. Also, Survivor was totally wrapped up before the first episode ever aired, and they had plenty of time to edit it up into a compelling show. They only have a few hours to try to put together a decent BB show each day, and at least once a week it's live.

It's almost impossible to compare versions in the US, since here we don't have access to other countries' episodes at all; dunno if you can see our versions in other countries.
posted by aaron at 4:45 PM on August 8, 2000

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