Get ready to enter the seventh circle of hell, because the Big Brother house is opening its doors to celebrities. Julie Chen made the announcement during last Thursday’s live eviction episode of Big Brother, revealing that the first ever U.S. edition of Celebrity Big Brother is coming a screen near you this winter.
It’s news which is thrilling and frightening in equal measure depending on how CBS cast the show. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Chen said the network is “being realistic” about the caliber of celebrity they’ll be able to attract: “It’s not going to be all Oscar winners.” Exec producer Rich Meehan also said something which gives me hope: “Maybe there are some celebrity fans of the show that we’ll mix in there.”
And that brings us to our Celebrity Big Brother cast wish list. We want stars who are FUN as opposed to TRASHY, ideally famous folks who are also Big Brother fans or have some sort of connection to the reality series. People that would play the game in the spirit it’s intended. And a few other ground rules for our list:
SEMI-REALISTIC: Although it’s a wish list, I still wanted to keep it somewhat within the realm of possibility. So no Hollywood blockbuster movie stars or Taylor Swift level pop singers.
NO FORMER HOUSEGUESTS: As much as I’d love to see the puppet master Dr. Will Kirby return to the game, this season shouldn’t mix celebs and former houseguests.
NO CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER UK ALUM: There’s an almost endless list of American celebs who have appeared on CBBUK over the years, and I’m sure some of those, like Gary Busey and Tiffany Pollard, would also be excellent on CBBUSA, but for simplicity’s sake, I left them out.
Let us know your picks in the comments.
Celebrity Big Brother will premiere this winter on CBS.
The former SNL star is obviously a fan of the show given his recent appearance in the house. In just five minutes he delivered more entertaining Diary Room confessionals than any housemate has all season. There is a worry of potential scheduling conflicts with his new CBS show Me, Myself and I but if the time allows it, Bobby in the BB house could be great cross-promotion.
The former NSYNC member is another Big Brother superfan who spends most of his time now bouncing from reality-show to reality-show — he was on the seventh season of DWTS and is currently appearing on Battle of the Network Stars. Not only does he still have an avid fanbase from his boyband days, but he could have genuine smarts for this game.
Neil Patrick Harris
He’s way too famous and busy for Big Brother, I know, but the one sliver of hope that might get him on the show is his love for the game. Not only did the former How I Met Your Mother star pay a brief visit to the house back in Season 7, but he’s gone on record as saying he’d love to partake in the British version of the series. If scheduling permits it, and the rest of the cast isn’t a sea of unpleasant reality-trash types, then maybe, just maybe, Neil will do it.
(Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Poor Bow Wow could really do with an image overhaul after seemingly finding a new way to embarrass himself every day on social media. With its 24/7 live feeds, Big Brother is a great opportunity for the troubled rapper to show a different side of himself. Plus he has a connection to the show after performing live at the Big Brother Africa finale in 2009.
(Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
As a popular comedian and series regular on Brooklyn Nine-Nine it’s unlikely Chelsea would lower herself to crawl through corn syrup on Big Brother, but hey, this is my wish list. She is a self-confessed superfan and has even had ex-houseguests on her podcast. Chelsea would understand the game and be hilariously sarcastic while playing it.
(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
“Does ‘podcast famous’ qualify?” the intrepid host of the long-running Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast asked following the Celebrity Big Brother announcement. While Scott is almost certainly joking, I really want him to turn the BB living room into his own irreverent talk show (the décor does bear a striking resemblance to the Comedy Bang! Bang! TV show set). Also, a CBB reunion with Bobby Moynihan and Chelsea Peretti would be the funniest alliance ever.
(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Is it really a reality-show without a poker player? Phil Hellmuth is a former World Series of Poker Main Event champion, but is better known for his petulant “Poker Brat” personality. He also enjoys the theatrics of the game, so you could imagine him trying to pull a Dr. Will style speech on his fellow houseguests. And if he loses? We’ll get one hell of a tantrum.
(Photo: Getty Images)
If Celebrity Big Brother starts after the football season ends, which is more than likely, then perhaps “Gronk” can treat the show as his winter break — free food and alcohol on delivery? Perfect. Also, he’s appeared on the show before (via video link) and clearly loves the limelight. Although, imagine if he suffers an injury playing OTEV and then has to explain that back in training. “Yeah, I twisted my ankle running up a ramp to feed a giant Singing Broadway Clam.”
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Miss American Pie is a Big Brother superfan who regularly attends live finales and appears on podcasts to discuss the show. She also has reality TV experience having competed on the sixth season of Dancing With The Stars. I mean, after filming a sex scene with Jason Biggs, Big Brother has got to be a step up, right?
(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Sid “Vicious” Eudy
Reality TV often reserves a spot for a former pro-wrestler, and Sycho Sid makes a lot of sense given that his son Frank is an ex-houseguest. Sid appeared in a family segment during Season 14 talking about his son and how he never misses an episode, so we at least know the grappler is familiar with the format. Could Sid become the Master and Ruler of the Big Brother house? Who knows? But if his nomination speeches are anything like his wrestling promos we’d be in for a treat.
Kathy Griffin ticks so many boxes for a Celebrity Big Brother houseguest. She’s a self-confessed superfan who has appeared on the show before. She has reality TV experience (she won Celebrity Mole back in 2003), and she’s currently surrounded in controversy, so that’s an automatic ratings winner for CBS. Big Brother could be a great comeback story for the controversial comedian.
(Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Race To Erase MS)
As a series regular on the popular Showtime drama Shameless, Shanola is probably another celebrity out of CBS’s reach. But she is a huge Big Brother fan and would make a great addition to the cast as a smart and savvy player. Judging by recent tweets, her followers really want to see her on the show.
(Photo by Earl Gibson III/WireImage)
Another name which is probably too high-profile for Big Brother but she is a legit fan of the show, and her acting career appears to have slowed down since iCarly ended in 2012. CBS will want a younger woman on the cast, and Cosgrove could easily fill that slot.
(Photo by John Parra/Getty Images)
The former Beverly Hills, 90210 star has had a career of ups and downs, and Big Brother could be the latest up or down depending on how she plays it. Tori is yet another celebrity who has made a guest appearance inside the Big Brother house, turning up in Season 13 to surprise 90210 superfan Adam Poch.
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Olympic gold and silver medalist turned internet meme, McKayla retired from competition in 2016 and embarked upon a career in the entertainment industry (both acting and singing). It’s not out of the realm of possibility that she’d sign up for Celebrity Big Brother, after all, she appeared on the show back in 2012 with the rest of the Fierce Five as part of a luxury prize.
(Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images)
Let’s face it: there is going to be at least one YouTube star on the cast, and so why not go for one of the funniest and most down to earth. Jenna has a massive following that CBS would be smart to tap into, and on top of that, she’s a big reality-tv fan. Also, her self-deprecation might be a welcome change of pace amongst the bigger celebrity egos.
Ricky Gervais as Andy Millman
If Big Brother really want to get meta, they could put in Ricky Gervais as his character from Extras, who appeared on a fictional version of CBBUK in the celebrity-spoofing comedy series.