3 Things That Big Brother Canada Needs To Be Successful

by Dan Gheesling

Dan-Gheesling-Big-Brother-CanadaBig Brother Canada is right around the corner, and I’m not going to lie, they should feel a lot of pressure (as much as you can in the Reality TV World).

It’s been no secret that Canadians have comprised a HUGE part of the fan base for the American version of Big Brother.

Canadians have been begging for their own version, and they’re going to get it in less than 10 days.

Now, it’s up to Big Brother Canada to deliver…big.

After my recent trip to Canada, I got a feel for the sentiment towards Canadian Reality TV shows and I was a little surprised.  In conversation with random Canadian people I met, I asked them about their versions of popular US Reality TV shows.

I never expected there to be so much…passion behind Canadians and their Reality TV.

Many people were disappointed and downright embarrassed about the Canadian versions of their favorite US shows (hatred was thrown around towards Canadian Idol like I’ve never seen before).

So now, it’s Big Brother’s turn to do what other the Canadian Reality TV shows have not: succeed.

As a HUGE fan of Big Brother, here are the three things I think Big Brother Canada needs to do to make  sure there will be multiple seasons of their own version.

#1 – Have An Epic Cast

Big Brother has succeeded and overcome some early growing pains because of strong casts year in and year out.

If I were a betting man, I think this is one thing Big Brother Canada will DEFINITLEY knock out of the park.

How can I be so sure?

Because of Robyn.

Big Brother Canada went big and got Robyn Kass to cast their season. Great move.

If you’re a Canadian Big Brother fan, one thing you won’t have to worry about is the cast, because I predict Robyn will deliver once again.

One thing Robyn knows is how to spot gamers. She knows how important they are to have in a season, more so than the great looking people (which are needed but can’t carry a season).

We’ll know right away if this will be a typical Robyn Kass production. I’d be willing to bet A TON that the cast will be strong.

#2 – Game Mechanics Must Be Air Tight

I’m the first to admit I’m not a Canadian Reality TV guru (I leave that for the experts like Murtz), but I do know the production value has been lacking in some Canadian Reality TV shows.

Big Brother had some competition issues early on that they were able to overcome (driving a remote control car ring a bell?), and Big Brother Canada can do the same, but they won’t have as much time to do so.

As long as the game mechanics behind the Big Brother Canada competitions are sound (they can be as simple as the Big Brother 14 horse chase) they will be able to overcome a lower production value.

Not that I’m saying BBCA will have a lower production value, because from everything I have seen thus far it looks great:


But if some issues do arise, as long as the game is sound, Big Brother Canada will be around for a long time.


#3 – Social Media Inclusion…the Right Way

I think eventually most traditional TV shows will fade out (this is a whole different discussion), I think Big Brother could be a special exception because of the social media interaction it provides.

Ever since the early days of Big Brother 1 and AOL message boards, there has always been an easy way for people to interact around the show.

(Side note: When I watched Big Brother 14 for the first time, I did a small fist pump when I saw the live tweets on the bottom. Incredibly smart.)

There are going to be some growing pains for Big Brother Canada, it’s to be expected.

A lot of the growing pains can be overcome as long as they provide great social media interaction (which they have done so far!) and listen to their audience.

The audience supports the show, bottom line.

With social media their voice can now be projected. It’s up to Big Brother Canada to listen to them.

After speaking with the Big Brother Canadian PR team, they have a ton of cool things in the works (that I can’t mention), so needless to say I do think they will deliver on  the social media front.

Which leads me to my involvement with Big Brother Canada….

How I’ll Be Involved With Big Brother Canada

No, I’m not going to be the host of Big Brother Canada.

No I’m not going to be playing on this season of Big Brother Canada (the Houseguests are already sequestered).


I will be in Toronto for four days promoting the Premier of Big Brother Canada… ;)

When Big Brother Canada first reached out I was fired up, then I found out some of the things that are planned, and I got even more fired up.

I’m really looking forward to visiting Toronto for the first time since 8th grade (Phantom anyone?).

Although I can’t talk about everything I will be doing during the four days, as soon as I can tell you, I will.

Toronto Meetup

I’m going to try to squeeze in time for a Toronto Meetup, so if you’re interested fill this out. (I’ll email you once details are verified.)

If you’re a business in Toronto and you want to bring a group of customers to your establishment send me a brief e-mail and we can work something out.

Oh, I also forgot to mention, I will be attending the first Live Eviction as well. ;)

To get all of the updates from me while I’m in Toronto be sure to follow me on Twitter and subscribe on Facebook.

I’ll be updating both frequently while on the road.

What do you think will make Big Brother Canada successful? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


  • Derrick

    Hi Dan.

    Fair and True comments about Canadian reality TV and yes we do love Reality.

    Personally, I have watched Big Brother off and on since season 1 (remember Eddie?)

    Season 1 when I remember back was a such a different game than you see today, and of course no power of veto.

    They did have a swimming pool, so what do we get, an ice rink? lol

    I have to admit that I didn’t see you in BB10, but watched as you turned the house upside down in BB14.

    I hope the Canadian version is well edited, and entertaining and with a good production value.

    I also think that offering the live feeds for free will entice some viewers.

    I am looking forward to the season and by the way, your Video gaming is EPIC.

    Nice job.


    • Dan Gheesling

      Thanks Derrick! BB1 was WAY different. I think BBCA will start fast, I hope it does.

      Glad you like my video-game streaming on Twitch.TV! :)

  • Sandy Trojansek

    Big Brother Canada will be successful if a killer cast is placed in the house, and if the fans get behind the show! Reality TV is all about the fans and ratings. We don’t have a lot of these types of shows in Canada, but we DO have the fan base, and love for this type of programming. We need reality TV in Canada!!! :)

    • Dan Gheesling

      The table is set for an epic Series for you guys, I’m excited to be a small part of it!

      • Sandy Trojansek

        I’m so excited for the premiere! Glad you’ll be here for the fun! :)

  • Beth Thomson

    I really hope Big Brother Canada is a good show. I have watched most of the Canadian reality tv shows in Canada. I think that Canada really needs to make it their own show.

  • George Pringle

    Big Fan of all the Big Brothers, watched all the British and some all the Australian ones. Here’s hoping it has a little of the British flavour to it rather than just an American copy.

    • cathy

      good point about british comedy………maybe we will see a hint of it – lol
      they shud have a beer drinking contest = i would love to see the results of that!

  • Connie

    Canada has always been a huge part of American BB. What pull do you have to get feeds to America? Nothing would make many of us happier than to be a part (a feedster) of Canadian BB. Can’t be a super fan without those feeds! Give it your best! You came back from the dead didn’t you?? This should be a piece of cake!
    Much respect,

    • Dan Gheesling

      Not sure Connie, but I don’t think it will take very long for someone to figure it out and post how to do it…all legally of course. :)

  • Dave

    Glad you are taking part in BB Canada. Definately have some high hopes for this show! Can’t wait to read your Twitter comments! And enjoy Toronto. It’s not quite Montreal though!!

  • Kayla

    I can’t wait til Big Brother Canada! Will you be watching this whole season or just there for the promoting?? Such a great idea on their part, they are doing a great job getting the American contestants to be supportive of Canada’s version!

  • DanMcV

    Hoping my wife and I can get a pic with you at the Live Eviction or maybe we can give you a tour of Niagara Falls this week…..lol! I have read the book and I am hoping it will help me get cast for season 2 of BBCanada. We are huge BB fans that have never missed a season of the US version and have hoped for many years for a Canadian one.

    P.S. Love the Phantom reference!

  • SodaPop306

    Free feeds? Cool. Nice 1st year bonous. As long as Ben Mulrooney isnt hosting, should be good. LOL

  • Mike S.

    I’m set to watch BBCA and I hope it’ll cure my BB itch until the new season starts in America.

    I think BBCA can be a success if they have a good cast (which you said they have) and good challenges. I hope they follow the American model closely because it has been honed over the years.

    I’m a bit disappointed by the prize. $100,000 for the winner. Of course that is in Canadian dollars! ;)

    Speaking of embarrassing Canadian reality shows, did you hear about The Amazing Race Canada? It is the same idea as the American show but all the destinations are in Canada. Lame.

    Anyway, glad you’re championing BBCA. Having your support is a great boon.

  • Ryan

    Hi Dan I’m glad your interested in Big Brother Canada and will have a part in it. liking forward to seeing you at the live eviction

  • http://www.Dollysdaughter.wordpress.com Colleen Kelly

    I think having you involved will give it a great kick start! You will be great.
    Do you ever get nervous ? You always seem so at home in front of the camera, very comfortable.
    Are you faking it ? lol

    I think Big Brother Canada will have to be really tight. Spot on, and like I said, you’re giving them a great kick start by helping out and getting involved!. Good for them and good for you, because I bet you’re anxious to see what they have going on up there… aren’t you ? ;)

    Hey good job, as always!!.
    Thanks Dan ,

  • Ashley

    Hey Dan,
    Do you know who will be the host of BBCA?

  • Carla

    You must realize that Canada is a much smaller media market than the USA, and that our networks have fewer resources for these types of shows. That might be why some people were disappointed with Canadian Idol. Our shows will always look less sophisticated than yours – even if our networks spend to the hilt. So, unless the production company coughs up the difference, the production value won’t be the same. We do what we can. Canadians will always complain that we a program looks too… Canadian because so much of our entertainment comes from your country and very rich networks.
    Looking forward to all you’ll do to promote BBCA. Enjoy Toronto. It’s changed a lot since you were last here.

  • Josh

    I think BB Canada will be successful if they involve the viewers interactively, but not just through social media, but through interaction with the house, especially in ways that annoy the houseguests to a gross extent. Install an alarm to wake the houseguests every day, and have the viewers decide what sound it should be (e.g. should it be a baby crying, a foghorn, or a roaring lion?). Have the viewers decide who should be randomly punished with a menial task like watching paint dry, glueing kernels back on the cob, or wearing the infamous leotard, but with shock pads that go off anytime at Big Brother’s pleasing. Even better yet, have the viewers decide which houseguest should be deprived of their belongings for their entire stay in the House.

  • Bob Flynne

    The number one thing they need in my opinion: more people like you, who are actually going to play the game and make things easy! Every BB season needs a mastermind ;)

    • Bob Flynne

      I meant to say make things interesting, not easy -_-

  • Athena Santana

    Awesome!! :) thats great!! I hope you have a great time, I can’t wait see the first episode of Big Brother Canada..can’t wait to see your tweets and comments. #Renegamer #TeamMist :)

  • Nick

    Now that they released the cast, any way you can post your thoughts on them and who you think will do the best, kind of like you did post-season bb14?

  • claudia

    It’s really great for you to be a part of our BB, in whatever way you can. Not many people can say they aren’t a Dan fan(supporter) so having you involved was a smart choice.
    Boogie and Will? Err, not so much.
    Is Boogie that creepy in person? For his sake, I hope everything he does and says on tv is all an act…. or yuck.

    I think it really is in this “Allison Grodner” type executive though that could break the show before it even gets in a year or two. Robyn is great, but Allison?
    Again, not so much.

    I think no matter Canadian nor American, a lot of people don’t have a good view of Allison. BB12 anyone? This one will have to put in a lot more effort than regurgitated comps (as you said, Canada makes up a good chunk of USBB fans so we’ve seen them all) We need all new comps, no have/have nots (slop makes people tired which makes them boring. Also being in the house twice, did you like food comps or have have nots?), and a great host. The reason we fail on import tv can sometimes be because of the lackluster host(project runway with Iman uhh).
    Julie is rigid, but we’ve come to be okay with that. She is humourless though, and I don’t think that will go across well with Canadian audiences. We like gregarious types, self-deprecating as well as sarcastic. Bottom line they have to be funny. I’m hoping for a more Davina type (BBUK) but we will end up with stiff and wooden, reading the teleprompter with no personality type im sure.

    Sorry so rambly. Although most BB fans are aren’t they? We love to throw our opinions in.

  • cathy

    hey dan i would love to know what u and janelle think of bbcan so far?

  • Frances

    You know we have lost a few good reality tv cause of the hosts… they need hosts that can captivate the audience to bring them into that world… even with a low production you have to hire the right people that will promote the show with their outgoing personalities… they have to really dig deep for that… they should have open casting for hosts, I’d be the first in line, lol…. I’m pretty witty hehe…

  • Kyle

    Hey Dan,

    I think we all would like your feedback on the big gong show that happened at last night’s finale! 1st…talking to the contestants LIVE when the audience didn’t know the competition winners. We didn’t even need to watch the first hour of the show! And of course 2nd….the crap with the voting! We saw you in the audience talking to Topaz…so what is up?!?

    Please email me with a link if and when you post your response!


  • FourStar

    Any thoughts on the whole Topaz issue?

  • Amanda


    Do you know if there will be a second season of Big Brother Canada, and if there is how/when should I apply?


  • Chevy

    I have just lerned about BBCA and would love to watch season two. But I live in the Us and don’t know how to watch the second season! can someon eplease hellp if they know sorry for the spelling errors ;)

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