Big Brother – and millions of television viewers – will be watching every move of a group of outgoing, yet house-bound South Africans again in January 2014. M-Net announced that its proudly local brand, Mzansi Magic, will produce another South African edition of Big Brother, and this time the show will aptly be called Big Brother Mzansi.
Yolisa Phahle, M-Net’s director of Local Interest Channels, says hosting a reality show of the magnitude of Big Brother is a logical next step for Mzansi Magic. “The multiple requests over the years for another local version of this supernova television show, together with the overwhelming viewer response to Big Brother Africa signaled that it will be a sure-fire hit in our market.”
“Adding Big Brother to our varied, increasing portfolio of general entertainment productions – ranging from telenovelas, soaps, lifestyle shows, comedies to reality and drama – consolidates Mzansi Magic’s commitment to bringing the biggest and the best local shows to our viewers. The format is perfectly aligned to our vision which is to produce the most compelling content for audiences when they want it and where they want it.”
In a bold move for the era of television at the time, M-Net and format owner and production company Endemol SA, introduced the concept of realty television to SA audiences in 2001 with the very first 24/7 Big Brother broadcasts in the southern hemisphere. Big Brother and the irreverent inhabitants of the specially-built Big Brother House immediately grabbed the imagination of the nation, frequented newspaper headlines and even inspired academic thesis and debates.
Then, after a second South African season in 2002, Big Brother ventured into the entire continent, where it continues to create waves of excitement and viewer participation season after season.
Big Brother The Chase, an M-Net AfricaMagic property, is currently enthralling viewers across Africa with just under one million unique website visitors; over 1.5 million video views (online); over 30 million page views (online) and over 1 million messages to TV in just two weeks. Big Brother Africa also boasts more than one million ‘Likes’ on Facebook and generates approximately 300 000 tweets per week.
“We are extremely proud of all the Big Brother editions,” says Endemol SA managing director, Sivan Pillay. “The brand just keeps on growing and each season has had its own charm. We value our longstanding relationship with M-Net as a company and look forward to be collaborating with another channel in its family of brands.”
But who will the presenter be? Who may enter? When will the contestants be chosen? How much money is up for grabs? And, what will the theme be?
“This country-specific Big Brother will be filled with twists and turns, just like the Pan-African ones,” says Pillay. “More will be revealed at a later stage.”
Big Brother Mzansi will be the 11th season produced by companies M-Net and Endemol SA. This includes two seasons of Big Brother South Africa, and eight seasons of Big Brother Africa and Big Brother Nigeria.