‘Big Brother’ Gets Later Start Date as CBS Plots Strike Insurance

CBS will start its original summer shows later than usual — with an eye toward shoring up the fall should labor actions in the industry delay production on scripted series.

The network has set dates for the 25th season of Big Brother, the second season of The Challenge: USA and the third installment of Secret Celebrity Renovation. All three will debut in late July or early August. CBS is also moving back the start of the new musical game show Superfan from June to August.

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Big Brother will debut Aug. 2 and will as usual air three times weekly, on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The August premiere date is about a month later than the show usually begins, which means it will also likely end a month later — late October as opposed to late September — and give CBS three more hours of original programming to fill out its weekly schedule if the Writers Guild of America strike continues long enough to push the start of filming on fall scripted shows back from the usual midsummer time frame. (The strike is in its fourth week, and writers and media companies haven’t scheduled any negotiations.)

CBS did something similar in 2020, when the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic pushed back production on many series. Big Brother began Aug. 5 of that year and concluded three days before Halloween.

Secret Celebrity Renovation will be the first show out of the gate, debuting July 28. Among the famous names giving someone important in their lives a home makeover are The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan, NFL player Damar Hamlin, Fire Country star Max Thieriot and comedian JB Smoove.

Superfan, hosted by Nate Burleson and Keltie Knight, will pair with Big Brother on Wednesdays staring Aug. 9. The Challenge: USA follows on Aug. 10 and will air twice weekly (Thursday and Sunday nights) for three weeks before shifting to a single episode per week on Aug. 31. Depending on the episode count, both could carry into the early part of the fall season.

When CBS announced its fall schedule earlier this month, it was mostly filled with scripted series and made little nod to the writers strike, with only expanded runs for Survivor and The Amazing Race as a hedge against scripted programming being delayed. The late-starting summer schedule could help fill some more time when the 2023-24 season starts.

Check The Hollywood Reporter’s premiere calendar for a full rundown of debut dates.

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