‘Big Brother’ returns to RTL Netherlands after 14 years off air

Big Brother Italy

Big Brother Italy

RTL in the Netherlands has recommissioned a local version of Endemol Shine Group’s (ESG) Big Brother, the veteran reality format that it debuted more than 20 years ago and which has since become a global best-seller.

The Dutch broadcaster last aired its version of the show 14 years ago but has now joined a host of others in returning to the long-running format, which made its global debut on RTL’s Veronica network in September 1999. RTL said production behind the scenes had begun several weeks ago.

The new deal marks the seventh comeback for Big Brother in the last 12 months, with returns for the original format in Portugal, Finland, Poland, Greece, Germany and Australia, where the new series launches tonight on Channel Seven.

The long-running format continues to air in countries including Italy, Spain and the US, where the format has been on air since launching in 2000. The show does not currently air in the UK, having previously been broadcast on Channel 4 and latterly Channel 5.

In a joint statement, Endemol Shine Netherlands and RTL said: “We have never made it a secret that we want to bring Big Brother back to the Netherlands, the country where it all started. Big Brother is still the most successful format worldwide and in the current context more relevant than ever: we now live in a Big Brother society.”

The format is sold by Endemol Shine International and series in Portugal, Sweden, Germany, Italy and Australia have all been produced with what ESG described as “minimal Covid-19 disruption”, with housemates informed and kept up to date with happenings in the outside world.

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