'Big Brother U.K.,' 'Celebrity Big Brother U.K.' officially ending

After years of reality-show scandals and controversies, it’s the end of the road for beloved reality shows Big Brother U.K. and Celebrity Big Brother U.K.

(All other international iterations of Big Brother, including Canada, are not impacted by this decision.)

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Broadcasting network Channel 5 confirmed Big Brother U.K. will be finished after the current 19th season, which starts up on Friday night.

Channel 5 also confirmed that Celebrity Big Brother U.K. is ending, too; it just had its 22nd season finale on Sept. 10.

“The forthcoming series of Big Brother will be the last — of either celebrity or civilian versions — on Channel 5,” said a spokesperson to the BBC. “We’d like to thank Endemol and all of the production team who have worked tirelessly to make the show a success.”

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“Most importantly, we’d like to thank fans of the show for their support over the last seven years. We look forward to giving the final series a brilliant sendoff.”

Endemol Shine U.K., for its part, was “disappointed” in the decision, and posted a lengthy message to Twitter ruing the shows’ endings.

All is not lost, however. The production company seemed to indicate that it might not be the end of the road, and in its message said it “opens up a new chapter and we are excited about future possibilities for Big Brother in the U.K.”

Big Brother, billed as a “social experiment” when it first popped up on TV screens in 2000, was a hot hit from Day 1. Featuring regular people locked in a house together for months without access to the outside world, it was must-watch TV during the reality surge of the early ’00s.

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Since then, ratings have dwindled somewhat, but the American and Canadian versions have continued to succeed. It has had 54 iterations around the world, and in total there have been 387 seasons of Big Brother.

Celebrity Big Brother U.K. started up in 2001, replacing ordinary people with celebrities at various levels of fame. Some winners of Celebrity Big Brother U.K. include American actor Gary Busey and model Katie Price.

The American version of Big Brother is nearing the finale of its 20th season. Big Brother Canada Season 7 will air in 2019 on Global.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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