This is a first in Big Brother‘s 16-year history: CBS’ veteran summer reality series has been given a two-season pickup. The network has ordered a 17th cycle, to air next summer, and a 18th to run in summer 2016. Julie Chen remains the host. The announcement comes ahead of Big Brother‘s 90-minute 16th-season finale tonight, which will follow the 90-minute season premiere of another CBS reality veteran, Survivor.
The Endemol USA-produced Big Brother, which previously had been renewed one season at a time, is coming off a particularly strong cycle. It lacked the big controversies of the 2013 season but did very well in the ratings, up 2% in viewers (7.56 million) and 4% in adults 18-49 (2.7). All three of its weekly broadcasts rank among the top 10 programs of the summer in the demo. “Big Brother continues to be the one of the summer’s most dominant programs, and with each season, (executive producers) Allison (Grodner) and Rich (Meehan) produce the most twisted ways to evolve the series creatively,” said Chris Castallo, EVP Alternative Programming at CBS.
The series’ aftershow, Big Brother After Dark, also has been renewed for next summer. It airs on CBS sibling POP (currently TVGN) and has been a hit for the cable network.