'Big Brother' Ratings Plummet, and I Know Why
So Big Brother's premiere ratings were down. By quite a bit. The Season 15 opener — which didn't come with the returning houseguest star power of its previous two seasons — attracted just 6.3 million viewers, down 12 percent than Season 14's premiere. And, to boot, the ratings matched 2008's formerly least-watched season beginner.
But, during a season that launched the new and exciting MVP power — which would give America the chance to vote for one houseguest to secretly nominate another — the ratings seem disappointing. But what's responsible for the decrease? The fact that Big Brother messed with a good thing, just as they did in 2008.
No, I'm not implying it introduced a bad twist. (In fact, it did just the opposite, giving us one that rids the game of floaters.) I'm not implying that it voided the season of its figurative and literal boobs. (Disrespect David and GinaMarie, respectively.) No, Big Brother messed with the best thing about the series: Its July premiere.
CBS really should have known better, after having thrown stones at ABC's copycat Glass House in 2012, when the show premiered to disastrous results in June. (That said, I will always appreciate its mere presence when recalling the scene when an art history major is forced to admit she's actually a psychology major after not being able to name a single artist — then names Dr. Phil when prodded into naming a psychologist.) For us TV viewers, June is a breather month. It allows us to come down from the high of May finale month, and enjoy a quiet Mad Men episode or two. It allows us a chance to take in just one high-octane drama (Game of Thrones, natch), while still being able to enjoy the sunshine with our friends and family the other six days a week. Essentially, it's the one month of the year that we treasure our outdoor days — before we realize that fresh air is boring, and where's the square box I can use to look at troglodytes three times a week?
Big Brother is July. We learned that during the disastrous Big Brother 9, which attempted to circumvent the 2008 writer's strike with a February premiere. No, Big Brother. In the winter, we want to sit in our warm apartments, using up our energy with thought-provoking fare. Not stupid people hanging on sticks for hours.
Because, as I mentioned, Big Brother is July. It's hot (hello pecs!), it's full of bikinis, and it smells so, so much like trash. But, as anyone who's ever had a summer vacation would tell you, we love July. And we love Big Brother. So, CBS, for Big Brother 16, don't make us choose between the reality series and living. That's even more difficult than teaching Jeff Schroeder how to say "coup d'état." Instead, give us what we want: Chenbot, in July, with a dog costume. It's the only way to keep us from evicting you from our DVRs.