Big Brother (television show)

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Big Brother is the name of a television format developed by the Dutch media company Endemol, first broadcast in the Netherlands in 1999 but now produced in numerous nations around the world including the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Typically, a number of people (usually twelve to fifteen) are isolated in a specially-constructed compound and are watched by cameras in all areas and at all times; each week, television audiences vote out one of a number of candidates for eviction decided upon by inmates. The programme was originally presented as being a social experiment, but has rapidly descended into tawdriness. In 2007, the UK series of 'Celebrity Big Brother' provoked an unprecedented 44,000 complaints to the broadcasting regulatory body Ofcom after the production company Endemol and the broadcaster Channel 4 was perceived as not intervening to stop the racist bullying of one participant.

Big Brother's success has sparked a deluge of imitators in the so-called reality television genre.

See also