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Channel 4 axes UK Big Brother

UK commercial broadcaster Channel 4 will axe Endemol’s reality series Big Brother after its eleventh series next year. The latest season of the iconic reality show has been the least watched since it launched in the UK in 2000 and Channel 4 has confirmed it will not agree a new deal for the show, renewed for three years last year, when the current deal expires.

In its heyday, the show generated huge ratings and profits for Channel 4, but the terms of its latest deal, reportedly £180 million (US$293 million) for three years, and dwindling ratings have left it struggling to make money from the reality series.

Chanel 4, which is also scrapping the celebrity version of the show, said it will use the cash freed up to shore up its schedule in what head of programming Julian Bellamy said was the “most fundamental creative overhaul in our history”.

ITV has previously expressed an interest in the show and pay TV operator BSkyB, with its flagship entertainment channel Sky1, is another possible UK home for the series.

Channel 4 is not the only broadcaster to drop the show in recent times. Australian broadcaster Network Ten axed the long running reality series last year after ratings slipped. Ten was understood to be paying about AS$25 million (US$20.8 million) a year for the series, which was produced by Endemol Southern Star.