Channel 5 bosses are said to be “seriously considering” axing Celebrity Big Brother and its normal civilian series after the summer, it has been reported.
The reality TV favourite has been on our screens for 18 years after originally launching on Channel 4 in July of 2000, however, plummeting viewing figures have left producers unsure on whether or not they want to renew their contract with Big Brother’s production company, Endemol.
The contract runs out later this year, meaning that after one more civilian and one more celebrity version of the show, Big Brother could officially be no more.
A show insider told the Daily Star: “There have been conversations between the execs about not renewing the contract for both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother.
“It would be the end of an era, but they feel the time is right for it to end.
“There’s a feeling that Big Brother can no longer compete with other reality shows like Love Island.
“Big Brother is a very expensive format for Channel 5 and it’s getting to the point where it just isn’t worth the hefty price tag.”
At its peak, Big Brother used to pull in 10million viewers, however, last summer’s ratings took a hit when it failed to compete with ITV2’s reality series, Love Island.
Although this month’s celebrity series of the show has seen an improvement in ratings, they can be inconsistent – with 1.5million watching the first of a double eviction on Friday [19 January], but less than a million sticking around to watch the second episode, which aired half an hour later.
Last year, Channel 5 boss Ben Frow confessed that he wanted to scrap the showing, saying at the time: “I would be much happier if the channel did not have Big Brother on it.”
Channel 5 originally bought the format in 2011 after Channel 4 pulled the plug, with it quickly becoming 5’s most popular show ever.
Which means that even if Channel 5 do decide to axe the reality series, another channel or streaming service may decide to pick it up.