The Big Brother franchise has always been a sort of human petri dish, allowing its viewers to examine, in minute detail, what sort of things human beings get up to when given absolutely zero outside stimulus while being trapped indoors for months at a time. (Whoops, we just gave ourselves a “someone’s about to call something ‘prescient’” shudder.) Anyway, the show was clearly prescient in regards to our modern, pandemic-living lifestyles—even as the COVID-19 crisis has made it increasingly difficult for the series to put together a cast of “All-Stars” in order to fill out its upcoming season.
This is per a recent US Weekly interview with series host Julie Chen Moonves, who revealed that several would-be returning players were rendered ineligible for the show’s upcoming All-Stars season—its 22nd overall—because they were found to have tested positive for COVID-19. “We flew in a bunch of people, more than 16,” Chen Moonves said of the series’ set-up. “And some people I thought were definitely going in the house, they tested positive for COVID-19 so they couldn’t go in. And I thought, ‘Well, expect the unexpected.’” She also noted that all potential contestants were subjected to a sort of mini-pre-Big Brother, having been sequestered in rented homes for two weeks ahead of potential filming in order to check them for the virus.
And we’ve got to be honest: Big Brother has never sounded more appealing than it does at this very moment. Life in a lavish mansion guaranteed to only contain non-infected people? No terrifying trips to the grocery store? No access to Twitter?! It’s like some sort of (heavily filmed) utopia.
Big Brother: All Stars premieres tonight on CBS.