Big Brother (German TV series)

Big Brother is the German version of the international reality television franchise Big Brother created by producer John de Mol in 1997.[1] Following the premise of other versions of the format, the show followed a number of contestants, known as housemates, who are isolated from the outside world for an extended period of time in a custom-built house. Each week, one of the housemates is evicted by a public vote, with the last housemate remaining winning a cash prize.

Big Brother
Big Brother 20.jpg
Big Brother Germany 2020 revival logo
Based onBig Brother
by John de Mol
Presented by
Opening theme"Big Brother Germany TV Theme"
Country of originGermany
Original languageGerman
No. of seasons13
Running time60 minutes
Production companyEndemolShine Germany
Original network
Original releaseRTL Zwei
28 February 2000 (2000-02-28) – 12 September 2011 (2011-09-12)
22 September 2015 (2015-09-22) – 22 December 2015 (2015-12-22)
10 February 2020 (2020-02-10) –
18 May 2020 (2020-05-18)
Related showsPromi Big Brother
External links
Sat.1 Official website

Big Brother premiered on 28 February 2000 and ran for eleven seasons on RTL Zwei before the network cancelled it in September 2011.[2][3] Big Brother returned on 22 September 2015 on sixx, and lasted for 1 series.[4] After a 5-year break, Sat.1 rebooted the series on 10 February 2020.[5][6]

The series also featured a 24-hour live feed, in which fans could view the inside of the house at any time on German pay channel Premiere and Sky until the twelfth season. In the Sat.1 iteration of the series, however, there was no 24-hour live stream from inside the house.[7]

After a two-year hiatus, the series was bought and revamped by Sat.1 as Promi Big Brother, the first celebrity series of the German version, with the first season premiering on 13 September 2013.[8] Cindy aus Marzahn and Oliver Pocher were announced as the new presenters of the revived show in August 2013.[9] Jochen Schropp is hosting the show since Series 2, and with Jochen Bendel, also hosted Series 5. Since Series 6, Schropp and Marlene Lufen are hosting the show together. The ninth season will begin airing in August 2021.[citation needed]


Big Brother Germany is based on the international Big Brother series produced by Endemol in the Netherlands which began in 1999. The show's name comes from George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), which revolves around a dystopia in which dictator Big Brother is the all-seeing leader. A group of people (called the Housemates) live together in a house, where 24 hours a day their every word and every action is recorded by cameras and microphones in all the rooms in the house. Access to television, the Internet, print media, and time is prohibited. In addition, the housemates live in complete confinement; they have no access to the outside world. At least once a week, the housemates secretly nominate two housemates they wish to face a public vote to evict. The two or more housemates with the most votes face the public vote. The viewing public decides which of them gets evicted through text message votes or phone calls. The nominee with the most votes is evicted and leaves the house.

Should their stay inside the house become difficult for them to bear, a housemate is allowed to voluntary leave at any time during the game. In the event of a withdrawal from the house, a replacement housemate usually enters in their place.

In the final week of each season, the viewers vote for which of the remaining people in the house should win the prize money and be crowned the winner of Big Brother.

Changes of the ConceptEdit

Since the start of its first season in February 2000, Big Brother Germany went through numerous changes in its concept. Here are some significant examples of the progress of modifying the rules of the original game:

  • "Only the housemates have to decide which of them gets nominated.": Besides in season 7 the viewers could decide for only 1 time which of them gets nominated.
  • "None of the housemates know each other before entering the house.": changed in season 3 with a couple in a romantic relationship entering the house.
  • "The prize money is a certainty": changed in season 4 with letting the final four housemates doing challenges and giving them a quarter of the original prize money for every succeeded nathan challenge.
  • "The complete household lives together in one group": changed in season 4 with dividing the house into two parts with a "rich" and a "poor" area and splitting the household into two competing teams. On season 6 gets three houses where the housemates have to live in.
  • "All the housemates live together in one house": changed in season 6 with building a whole "Big Brother village" including five houses and a farm. In season 13 were two houses the "Glasshouse" and the "Blockhouse".
  • "The show runs for three months": changed in season 5 with expanding the show to one year.
  • "The show is supposed to run for a certain time": changed in season 6 with the announcement that the show would run as long as the ratings were acceptable, it actually lasted 363 days.
  • "Only the winner receives prize money": changed in season 6 with the creation of three areas for the housemates where they had to work and earn money, which was given to them when they got evicted (housemates who left the house voluntary did not receive any money).
  • "The housemates get no information from outside": changed in season 5 where the housemates were allowed to watch the RTL2 News after winning a game and in order to learn about a terrorist attack. In season 13 the viewers can write comments for the housemates and the comments are regularly shown to the house.

Prize moneyEdit

The winner of Big Brother Germany receives a cash prize for being the last remaining housemate.


Some seasons include a theme.

Season Theme
1 none
2 Back to Basics
3 none
4 The Battle
5 365 Days - 1 Million Euro
6 The Village
7 Who are you really?
8 Rich vs. Poor
9 Heaven and Hell/Reloaded
10 Everyone got a secret
11 The Secret
12 Back to Basics
13 Big Brother 20

Smoking in the houseEdit

Unlike in many other Big Brother houses, in the Big Brother Germany house smoking is allowed outdoors and indoors. This is because Germany has no smoking ban.


Big Brother Germany was broadcast by RTL Zwei from season 1 until 11, sixx for season 12 and Sat.1 from season 13.

Season Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 Highlights Shows (8:15 pm – 9:00 pm) The Decision Shows (8:15 pm – 9:15 pm) Highlights Shows (10:15 pm – 11:00 pm) Highlights Shows (8:15 pm – 9:00 pm)
2 Highlights Shows (8:15 pm – 9:00 pm) The Decision Shows (9:15 pm – 11:15 pm) Highlights Shows (8:15 pm – 9:00 pm)
4 Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 7:45 pm)
The Decision Shows (9:15 pm – 11:15 pm)
Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 7:45 pm)
5 Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
The Decision Shows (9:15 pm – 11:15 pm - One night a week)
7 Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
The Decision Shows (9:15 pm – 11:15 pm)
Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm) N/A
11 Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
The Decision Shows (9:15 pm – 11:15 pm)
Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
12 Highlights Shows (10:10 pm – 11:10 pm) The Decision Shows (8:15 pm – 10:15 pm) Highlights Shows (10:10 pm – 11:10 pm)
13 Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 7:55 pm)
The Decision Shows (8:15 pm – 10:15 pm)
Highlights Shows (7:00 pm – 7:55 pm) N/A

Spin-off showsEdit

In the first season was aired on Sundays a spin-off show with the name Der Talk (The Talk), from 21:15 to 22:15 on RTL Zwei.

In the second and third season were broadcast six nights a week by RTL Zwei and 1 night a week by RTL Television. RTL Zwei broadcast 50min daily recaps from Sunday to Friday at 20:15 to 21:10. RTL Television broadcast 2h decision show (Die Entscheidung) in Saturday at 21:15 to 23:15. Sometimes the decision show had 3h length and begins at 20:15. It also had a spin-off show "Family and Friends", presented by Aleksandra Bechtel. The show was aired live at 16:45 to 17:45

In season thirteen, was aired on sixx every Mondays after The Decision Show a live late-night show with the name Die Late Night Show, in which the debriefing spoke about what was happening in the house. The hosts were Jochen Bendel and Melissa Khalaj.[10] Also every Sunday on IGTV was broadcast a short-minute web show titled Recap mit Aaron Troschke. There Aaron Troschke, as the host, commented on the events from the last week.


Season Presenter(s) Co-presenter(s)
1 Percy Hoven Thorsten Wember Sophie Rosentreter
2 Oliver Geissen Gudrun Loeb Aleksandra Bechtel
4 Aleksandra Bechtel
5 Ruth Moschner Christian Möllmann Oliver Petszokat
6 Oliver Petszokat Jochen Bendel
7 Charlotte Karlinder Jürgen Milski
8 Miriam Pielhau
9 Alida Kurras-Lauenstein
10 Aleksandra Bechtel
11 Sonja Zietlow[a]
12 Jochen Bendel
13 Jochen Schropp Jochen Bendel Melissa Khalaj Aaron Troschke
  1. ^ Sonja Zietlow hosted only the Launch Night.

Series detailsEdit

SeriesDaysHousematesWinnerRunner-upEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
110313John MilzJürgen Milski11628 February 2000 (2000-02-28)9 June 2000 (2000-06-09)RTL Zwei
210617Alida KurrasHarry Schmidt11216 September 2000 (2000-09-16)30 December 2000 (2000-12-30)
313Karina SchreiberMedy Hussein10827 January 2001 (2001-01-27)12 May 2001 (2001-05-12)
49919Jan GeilhufeNadja Steininger11131 March 2003 (2003-03-31)7 July 2003 (2003-07-07)
536559Sascha SirtlFranziska Lewandrowski4192 March 2004 (2004-03-02)1 March 2005 (2005-03-01)
6363Michael KnopfThomas Motz3691 March 2005 (2005-03-01)26 February 2006 (2006-02-26)
714817Michael CarstensenSonja Ailler1565 February 2007 (2007-02-05)7 July 2007 (2007-07-07)
818325Silke "Isi" KaufmannMarcel Schiefelbein1837 January 2008 (2008-01-07)7 July 2008 (2008-07-07)
921130Daniel SchöllerMarcel Schiefelbein2118 December 2008 (2008-12-08)6 July 2009 (2009-07-06)
1032Timo GrätschMarc Maurer22011 January 2010 (2010-01-11)9 August 2010 (2010-08-09)
1113422Rayo di SoleDagmar Szlachta1532 May 2011 (2011-05-02)12 September 2011 (2011-09-12)
129218Lusy SkayaAlexandra Reiche9222 September 2015 (2015-09-22)22 December 2015 (2015-12-22)sixx
1399Cedric BeidingerGina Beckmann8510 February 2020 (2020-02-10)18 May 2020 (2020-05-18)Sat.1


Season Song (English translation) Performer
1/11 "Leb" (Live) Die 3. Generation
2 "Zeig mir dein Gesicht" (Show Me Your Face) Berger
3 "Nur die Wahrheit zählt" (The Truth is only One) Ayman and Naima
4 "Alles ändert sich" (Everything Changes) Oli P. feat. Lukas
5 "Alles was du willst" (Everything You Want) Lex
6 "Deine Welt" (Your World) (Own composition)
7 "Ich seh was, was du nicht siehst" (I See Something You Do Not See) Senta-Sofia
8 "Chose to Be Me" Sunrise Avenue
9 "Everybody" Mousse T.
10 "Schöne neue Welt" (Brave New World) Culcha Candela
12 "Sparks" Neon Hitch
13 "Follow the Leader" Cosby

Reception and popularityEdit

Big Brother was social phenomena when it began in 2000. At some point in the first season it hits 70% rating share. Despite massive popularity, ratings in the third season started to decline. RTL II decided to put the show off air for one year (2002).

The program returned in 2003 with completely modified format and lower expectations. Much higher ratings and sponsors interest resulted in following season. The fifth season reached up to high expectations of the producers. The high success of the fifth series resulted in back-to-back season, which was supposed to run for at least few years. However ratings started to declaim and the show was hiding in the shadow of its former glory. The producers decided to end series after its first year on air.

Year-and-half latter (in 2007) RTL II decided to return old original format of the program, marking the seventh series as "Back To Basics". Despite the re-newed format was not a rating hit, but it reached up to producers low expectations.

The producers tried to renew the format for eleventh series, because of tenth series low achievements (Finale of tenth series had 1.39 million viewers). Viewing figures however decline in eleventh series, but producers made an impression of success with duration and prize extension. The ratings in eleventh series rarely reach 10% share in eleventh series.


  1. ^ "Big Brother". (in German). Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  2. ^ Meza, Ed (14 September 2009). "Germany's RTL renews 'Big Brother'". Variety. Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Endemol - reality and docu - Big Brother". 2013-03-20. Archived from the original on 20 March 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  4. ^ ""Big Brother" startet bei sixx am 22. September". 2015-08-12.
  5. ^ "Sat.1 bringt „Big Brother" 2020 zurück ins TV-Programm". 2019-06-26.
  6. ^ "Big Brother 2020 Start: Wann läuft die neue Staffel in Sat.1? Moderator und Termin stehen fest!". 2020-01-10.
  7. ^ "Big Brother Live-Stream: 24 Stunden-Kanal kommt bei Sat.1 nicht zurück". 2020-01-10.
  8. ^ "Germany and Portugal comeback for Big Brother".
  9. ^ Verkaufen, Werben &. "Sat.1 wirbt mit Oliver Pocher und Cindy aus Marzahn für "Promi Big Brother" - W&V".
  10. ^ "Big Brother 2020: sixx ist wieder mit Late Night Show dabei". 2020-01-11.

External linksEdit