Interview with Shaw Media’s Barbara Williams on bringing “Big Brother” to Canada!

With the Big Brother Canada premiere date of February 27th fast approaching more and more information will be released as we get closer. As you can see from the photo below that was released of the diary room as well as all the other construction photos, the construction of the new house that is being built on a production set in Toronto is well underway. Also, take a look at the first of many to come newly released Big Brother Canada Commercials.

Shaw Media’s senior VP of content Barbara Williams’s interview about the new Canadian version of Big Brother, its potential to be successful and the challenges in creating the show.

Williams comments that Big Brother Canada is:

“a huge production. It’s three times a week over 10 weeks – that’s a 30-hour commitment. You rarely, with any show, make a 30-hour commitment out of the gate, so Big Brother absolutely comes with a significant investment.”

“We have big expectations,” she says. “It’s a huge show and it’s been an enormously important show to the Global schedule for 13 years now.”

“But I think the time’s right – Slice has really established itself as a kind of network that can carry this big a format.”
“Cost is absolutely a factor in all of our original commissioning,”

“It’s cheaper to buy a U.S. drama or decorating show than to make a Canadian one.”

“When choosing to exploit someone else’s format, as opposed to making your own, what you’re playing with there is maybe a little more cost – as you have to invest in the purchase of the format – but you’re also investing in something that’s a little more tried and true. It’s likely already worked in your market and has often already worked around the world. So you’re managing down your risk a little bit, although you have to pay a little bit more to get that.”

Williams says that the main factor is in whether having a local version adds enough value.

“There’s a subtlety here that’s key,” she explains, noting how the domestic audience is already very familiar with the brand.

New details about the exciting new Canadian version of Big Brother are being released daily so stay tuned for more details!

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