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The events of 9/11 occurred during season 2 and was the only time house guests (the final 3) were informed of outside information. This was due to one player having direct ties to the event.
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Fans eventually became aware of the location of the house and began flying banners across the backyard for house guests. Although house guests are instructed to immediately go inside if one flies by many have been seen/read and even made impacts in the game. Most notably in seasons 2 and 8 where banners were flown during live endurance competitions where house guests could not leave the backyard.
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Julie Chen Moonves, has been the host of the American version of Big Brother since its debut in 2000. During the first season, she was widely criticized in the media for her heavily scripted, wooden delivery in her interaction with the studio audience and in the interviews on the live programs. This has earned her the nickname the "Chenbot" among the fans, a title she has proudly come to embrace.
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Controversy sparked over the finale of Big Brother 3 where contestant Danielle lost to winner Lisa due to all of the evicted house guests being able to go home and watch all of the show, including diary room sessions which ultimately lead to her losing by a vote of 9 to 1. This seems to be the influence for evicted house guests having to be sequestered without seeing any private footage of the show before casting to their vote, known as the jury of seven that has been in the show since.
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The name 'Big Brother' comes from the novel 1984 by George Orwell about a futuristic society that coins the term 'Big Brother is always watching you'.
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Four house guests have been expelled from the game. Justin (BB2) for holding a knife to another contestant's throat, Scott (BB4) for threatening others, throwing furniture and becoming violent in response to the X-Factor twist, Chima (BB11) for defying property and the game rules and Willie (BB14) for head butting Joe. Two have voluntarily left the game, Neil (BB9) and Dick (BB13) for an urgent personal family matter in the first week.
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Big Brother 9 is the only edition not to have aired during the summer due to the 2008 writers strike. This resulted in 2008 having two seasons of the show instead of the usual one.
Will Kirby stated on the live feeds during season 7 that the producers warned the Big Brother 2 house guests not to talk about the original first season that had premiered a year earlier and performed poorly. Season one was not referenced or recognized like the other previous seasons until All-Stars six years later.
Controversy occurred during a live HOH competition of the final four in season 9 where Julie stated 'There is another pre-existing relationship in the house, true or false.' An suspiciously long silence occurred when the house guests answered and Chen eventually answered true. The show stated that it was the house pets, the two guinea pigs. This controversial answer altered the outcome of the competition and ultimately the game.
Twenty five people have gotten to play the game in two different seasons. Yet only two, Janelle and Mike, have played in three separate seasons.
Julie Chen Moonves has stated in an interview with Ross Mathews, that she thinks Will Kirby from the 2nd season of Big Brother played the best game out of all former Big Brother house guests.
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Some of the cast of Survivor visited the house guests during season 2 and were involved in a competition. Actor Neil Patrick Harris also visited the house in season 7 as did actor Jeremy Piven in season 11 and David Hasselhoff and Tori Spelling in season 13.
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Early seasons had no washer and dryer and the house guests were forced to clean clothes the old fashioned way. Back then house guests were also able to bring pictures of their family with them.
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The dumbest move in Big Brother history is stated to be in season 3 when contestant Marcellus was able to use the golden power of veto save himself after winning it (the first time it had been introduced) while he was on the block and ultimately decided not to only to be evicted moments later. Ten seasons later, Lawon ultimately made the dumbest move in Big Brother history as he volunteered to be put up for nomination regarding the upcoming twist that season and was ultimately sent home the same night.
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House guests are constantly warned not allowed to sing or state movie quotes (due to copyright), or talk about the production of the show or any diary room session. Normally producers will warn them and the feeds will temporarily cut off.
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An infamous moment occurred in season 2 when after an argument Shannon took fellow house guest Hardy's tooth brush and scrubbed the toilet with it and then put it back. She was then informed it was against the rules and was forced to replace it, although at the time did not have to state what she had done with it.
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Only one week in Big Brother 13 didn't feature a female Head of Household.
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Seasons 1 and 4 are the only ones not to feature any gay houseguests.
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The "Big Brother" voice is co-producer Don Wollman.
Double Evictions began in the fifth season.
In season 9 a medical emergency occurred when Amanda who has hypoglycemia, collapsed from lack of sugar and being on slop and was taken to a hospital temporarily before returning to the game. Coincidentally another house guest, Allison went into the diary room at the same time having an allergic reaction.
Despite being scrapped in Season 8, All Stars introduced an additional cash prize of $25,000 awarded by America to their favorite member of the Jury of Seven. This was expanded to include all evicted house guests even if they didn't make it to the jury by Season 11 with Jeff being only houseguest to win it twice in both his seasons.
The Jury House is always in a different location every season.
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Season Twists: S1-Differed completely from later seasons, where eliminations were called "banishments" instead of "evictions" and occurred via the viewers instead of votes. S2-First season to feature the Head of Household (HoH) and in which a HouseGuest, Justin Sebik, was expelled from the game. Also the only season to have nullified votes in the finale. S3-"Expect The Unexpected": First season to feature the Power of Veto (PoV) and the only season to have every evicted HouseGuest vote for a winner. S4-"The X-Factor": In which five people were joined by ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. S5-"Project DNA: Do Not Assume": In which two HouseGuests discovered they were related by blood, and one had an identical twin. S6-"Summer of Secrets": In which every HouseGuest started out with a secret partner; had one of these pairs made the Final 2, the winner would win $1,000,000, while the runner-up would receive $250,000. S7-"All-Stars": Were all 14 house guests had been on previous seasons. S8-"Your Own Worst Enemy": Featured three nemeses (Dick, Dustin and Jessica), and the first season to include America's Player. S9-"Till Death Do You Part": Where house guests are paired together in a "couples" twist where they are hoh, nominated and evicted in twos. S10-"Back To Basics": All house guests are complete strangers since season three. No season twist. S11-"High School x1000": Featured high school cliques, whereas an entire clique was safe from eviction if one of their members becomes HoH. First season to feature Pandora's Box. S12-"Summer of Sabotage": Featured the "Big Brother Saboteur", whose mission was to not win the grand prize, but perform various tasks to disrupt the lives of the other HouseGuests in order to win $50,000. S13-"Double Trouble": Featured three Dynamic Duos from previous seasons returning to play again. This also resulted all the other HouseGuests to pair in duos as well for the first four weeks. A new element into the game called the Golden Key awards the nominee safe after the live eviction a key to the Top 10. This means this HouseGuest skips all competitions and is exempt from evictions until the end of Week 4. S14 - "Veteran Coaches": Featured four former players as coaches for the twelve new houseguests. If one of their players wins the top prize then their coach also gets $100,000.
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A live uncensored spinoff of life in the house, Big Brother: After Dark (2007) began airing on Showtime during Season 8 and moved to TVGN for Season 15.
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Revealed in the first episode of season 7, the 'Friendship Alliance' of season 6 was known to have the lowest popularity scores in Big Brother history at that time.
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Two contestants were under the required age of 21 to be eligible to apply to be on Big Brother. This was because both were a part of the twist that season. Michelle was 19 in Big Brother 4 as one of the exes in the X Factor twist. Daniele was 20 in Big Brother 8 for the enemies twist with her estranged father.
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Season 3 is the only season to be officially released on DVD. Season 4 was released featuring highlights of the season.
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Season 4 had the highest rated season premiere while season 5 was the highest rated season finale with over 10 million viewers.
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Janelle has made an appearance in six different seasons, more than any other hosueguest.
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In season 6 the house was remodeled in the CBS sound stage and became two stories and was the only time the prize money at the end had the possibility of being increased from 500,000 to 1,000,000.
Season 6 remains the most bitterly divided house in the history of the show with two dominate alliances, The Friendship and the Sovereign Six battling throughout the season.
When Chima was expelled in season 11, her 1st jury spot was given to America, who became the 7th jury member vote.
Season 2 winner Will has stated he would only return for All-Stars if his season 2 partner Mike also joined the season. Producer's agreed and season 3 winner Lisa's All-Star spot was then replaced with Mike who eventually went on to win the game.
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To date, Pandora's Box has been opened eight times. Twice in Season 11, four times in Season 12 and twice in Season 13. Here are all the results of their openings: SEASON 11: KEVIN - $10,000 was released to the house; he got locked in Pandora's Box. NATALIE: Private meeting with her boyfriend; she released clowns into the house and couldn't compete in the Power of Veto competition. SEASON 12: MATT: Diamond Power of Veto; released a new Saboteur. BRENDON: 24 hour vacation from the house; Rachel came back to the house for 24 hours after being evicted to annoy everyone. BRITNEY: gave the other house guests a luau; she got locked in with Jessie (BB10/11) for weight training advice. LANE: Won $91.17; house guests couldn't use cups, dishes and utensils for a week, house guests had to use sock puppets to speak for 12 hours and dance for 12 hours. SEASON 13: PORSCHE received $10,000 to split with Kalia, but the duo twist was brought back for the week. RACHEL got locked in with Jessie (BB10/11), while the other house guests got to meet Tori Spelling and go on a shopping spree. No houseguest has denied a Pandora's Box invitation.
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House Themes: S1-House centered in field with less isolation. S2-New outdoor set, higher walls and outdoor studio. S3-No significant change. S4-Featured a 'human chessboard'. S5-Sliding glass door to backyard and a fish tank. S6-Newly renovated two story penthouse. S7-House of 'extremes' with neon flames and emotion quotes written on the walls. S8-Alice in Wonderland theme, giant tea cup in back yard. S9-Winter woods and log cabin style, Love quotes across the walls. S10-Retro theme with various decade style rooms and kitchen. S11-Eco friendly style with recyclables and mini garden in back yard. S12-Beach mansion themed style. S13-Venice beach influenced, graffiti on back yard walls.
Starting with the eleventh season, food competitions were replaced with Have or Have Not competitions where the losing team would not only be on a food restriction, but forced to take only cold showers and banished to sleep in an uncomfortable "have not" bedroom.
In earlier seasons, especially early on, eviction votes were rarely cast live. Now, they are almost always cast live.
The final HOH competition is always a physical endurance competition in the first part, a combination of physical and mental tasks in the second and a series of jury questions for the last part.
Due to a ratings boost, the duration of seasons 11 and 12's finale shows were increased to two hours, with the second part of the three part final broadcast live like the third part. Season 13's finale was only 90 min because of the premiere of Survivor.
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The Spy Screen in the HOH bedroom was introduced in Big Brother 5.
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In 17 seasons a total of 211 different people have played the Big Brother game.
As of season 17, the largest cast featured 17 people due to Liz and her twin, Julia, surviving the twin twist first 5 evictions
Julie Chen coined a catch phrase with fans with her constant use of the term 'But First...' throughout the course of the show.
Rachel (12/13) and Janelle (6/7) are tied for most HOH wins for multiple seasons with six.
A unitard has made a regular appearance as a prize in a veto competition since season 8. All six house guests who have had to wear it were female. Jen (8), Shelia (9), Michelle (10), Lydia (11-Superhero Unitard), Kristen (12-Hippie Unitard) and Jordan (13-Humilitard). Both Lydia and Kristen were evicted in their costumes, as well as Kail (8) in a rabbit suit and Casey (11) in a banana suit.
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Ranked #15 in Entertainment Weekly's "The 20 Best Reality Shows Ever." (issue #1051, June 12, 2009).
Jen (BB8) is the first house guest to purposely defy the food restriction rule and eat while on slop. She was punished with one penalty vote from Big Brother. Since, when a house guest accidentally eats/drinks while on food restriction they are given an extra day on slop.
Season 15 increases the Big Brother Jury from seven to nine.
A technical malfunction during a live HOH competition in season 7 had certain house guests lights and buzzers unable to work properly. Even with obvious errors, Erica was named HOH. Later that evening Julie Chen presented a new HOH competition over the intercom after producers explained that fairness needs to stay intact for all competitions and therefor the competition needed to be redone. Without lights and buzzers, the competition was presented the old fashioned way where Janelle ended up winning.
Big Brother 10 was the first time all the houseguests were complete strangers in seven seasons.
Season 7 introduced Big Brother slop as the food restriction that replaced peanut butter and jelly from seasons 2-6. All-Stars is also the only season where the HOH bedroom is specifically re-designed each week to match the HOH winner and their individual personality.
The theme song changed after seasons 2-5 completely and was tweaked again in season 10, 11 and 13.
Jesse (10/11) appeared in the same Pandora's Box twist for seasons 12 and 13.
Season 3 was the only season in which every evicted houseguest voted for a winner.
According to "Broadcasting & Cable", the first time CBS made an entire 60-minute entertainment program available online was when the 19 July 2005 episode of "Big Brother 6" was posted at CBS.com.
The show featured a revamped live set for Season 15 and was also the first season premiere not to feature the classic "I't's a house like no other..." intro since Season 2.
Season 6 was the only season to have the final four houseguests (April Janelle, Ivett, Maggie) be all the same gender.
Big Brother 2 introduces the Head of Household, house evictions and food competitions. Big Brother 3 introduces the Power of Veto and Big Brother 4 establishes the Jury of Seven.
"Where Are They Now?" segments of former castmates occurred frequently in early seasons but has become a rarity in modern seasons. The last official segment occurred in Season 5.
The silver veto in Big Brother 3 could not be used to take yourself off the block and only turned golden at the end of the season where the rule was updated to include yourself.
Out of the fourteen people who've won the game, only five have been female.
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Season 16 introduced the Battle of the Block. It ended after season 17
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Executive producer Allison Grodner gave an exclusive video tour with Danielle (BB3/BB7) to the behind the scenes of the production of the show while it was underway in season 10.
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A live studio audience appears for every eviction episode since season 10. Before that only the first season had a live studio audience. Season 2, 3 and 4 also had no audience during the finale.
The first HOH competition of season 10 is the first and only time a competition has been done before the house guests entered the house.
The last prime-time network programming in 4x3 Standard Definition on commercial broadcast television as of 2012.
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In season 1 Julie Chen announced the winner inside the house with the final 2 then making their way outside to a large crowd. Seasons 2-4 had the cast inside the house pulling their own keys while Julie remained in the studio and on the screen while the final 2 emerges to a small number of family and friends outside the house. Beginning with season 5 the cast joins Julie in the studio where she names the votes through the tv screen to the final 2 who are in the house and then emerge to a large crowd outside the house, which has stayed on every season since. In addition streamers fly when the winner walks out of the house starting with season 11.
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Following the seventh season in 2006, Arnold Shapiro stepped down as executive producer after holding the title since season 1. His partner Allison Grodner, who joined the show in season 2 than took over as sole executive producer starting with season 8. The casting director Robyn Kass has also been casting the show since it's second season.
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Dan is the only winner to win by a unanimous jury vote. He is also the first player to make it into the Final 2 twice.
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Nicole (BB18) is the first female to win Big Brother next to a male. All other female winners had another female contestant in the final two with them.
Season 17 so far has the most house guests in a season with 17
Audrey Middleton (BB17) is the first ever transgender housemate in Big Brother history.
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With the first being Jen in BB8, Audrey Middleton, BB17 houseguest, is the second houseguest to ever defy a food restriction. The penalty vote that was given to her did not change the outcome of her eviction.