Showtime Stays Up With 'Big Brother'

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Big Brother will be lurking in Showtime's late-night hours.

Broadcast network CBS is teaming with its sister service to offer late-night, uncut and uninterrupted coverage of CBS' Big Brother reality series on the Showtime Too multiplex channel.

The agreement marks the first time CBS and Showtime have partnered on distribution rights for a series, but Showtime Networks president of entertainment Bob Greenblatt hopes it won't be the last.

Beginning July 5 and continuing each night through the end of the season, Sho Too will distribute a daily, three-hour live feed from inside the Big Brother “house.” The series, which will air on CBS Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays beginning July 5, follows the exploits of participants who live together in the aforementioned house outfitted with dozens of cameras and microphones recording their every move, 24 hours a day. One by one, each houseguest is voted off by their fellow residents until a winner is chosen.

According to Greenblatt, Sho Too will air one of the numerous video feeds that are constantly running in the house. Many of those feeds can be accessed online — uncut and uninterrupted — via RealNetworks.

Real charges $14.99 per month for the feeds or a one-time fee of $39.99 for the three-month run.

“CBS was looking at ways to take this franchise and extend it to as many platforms as possible,” Greenblatt said. “The idea was to take some of the feeds that are going constantly and air them [on Sho Too]. Some of it will be [the players] sleeping and be somewhat boring, and some of it could be very mesmerizing.”

Greenblatt would not predict how many viewers would tune in to see Big Brother After Dark, but said the uncut late-night offering will have some appeal to curious, voyeuristic fans.

“I don't know if we're going to see droves of people tuning in to the feeds, but we're trying to carve out a bit of the real estate that fits our network,” he said.

CBS will promote Big Brother After Dark during the show's three weekly telecasts, while Showtime will run tags for the show on its various multiplex services.

Greenblatt said the Big Brother experiment is the first of several opportunities to partner with CBS regarding content distribution, although nothing is currently in the works.

“We're always looking for things to do in concert with CBS,” he said.

Along with Sho Too and RealNetworks, CBS will offer Big Brother content through the mobile platform. CBS will offer a mobile subscription package that will offer video clips, photos, live breaking house alerts and daily insider summaries sent straight to subscribers' cell phones. Additionally, fans will be able to download made-for-mobile wallpapers and ring tones from their favorite house guests via CBSmobile.com.

Also, fans will have the opportunity to cast votes that will impact certain scenarios inside the house. Cell phone subscribers can also send in their votes via text message on most major wireless carriers.

CBS.com will offer House Calls: The Big Brother Talk Show, a free 30-minute, streaming video talk show that broadcasts weekdays throughout the show's run.

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