Julie Chen Moonves Talks New 'Big Brother All-Stars' Rules Amid a Pandemic (Exclusive)
By Jackie Willis
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A new season of Big Brother All-Stars premieres Wednesday on CBS, and ET's Kevin Frazier spoke exclusively with host Julie Chen Moonves on the precautions the reality series is taking while filming amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"I'm doing testing. I'm doing testing again and then I'm going to do more testing," Chen Moonves said of how she's staying safe while hosting Big Brother All-Stars. "I'll be farther than ever from the houseguests as they get evicted. No hugs, not even a Chenbot handshake."
Chen Moonves added, "There's too much on the line to not go above and beyond the protocol to make sure everyone is safe."
The show is also operating a little differently. This season, there will be no live audience, Chen Moonves will not be visiting the Big Brother house at all, and all groceries delivered to guests will be disinfected in advance.
That being said, hookups and sharing beds will still be allowed. This is because the contestants had to quarantine before even stepping foot into the house. "As we speak right now, they're quarantining by themselves in homes that we've rented for them," Chen Moonves told ET. "They're getting tested every few days. They will go in once they've been clean and clear for at least 14 days and then even once they get in the house, they're still going to be tested. They have no contact with anyone."
This even goes for the crew working behind the scenes on the show. "Everyone is working in a pod, and those pods basically stay together and don't cross-mingle with any other pods," executive producer Rich Meehan explained. "No one is living on the compound. So people are going home at the end of their shift."
Executive producer Allison Grodner further noted, "We produce this behind the walls. They only hear our voices. They don't really see us throughout their stay in the Big Brother house."
Another big change is that on Wednesday night, the houseguests will move into the house on live TV, something that has never been done before on Big Brother. This will also be when viewers will find out who is living in the house for the very first time.
"Once they go in there, they are going to be just like any other Big Brother cast in terms of the way that they are allowed to relate to one another," Grodner said.
Chen Moonves added, "If you ask me, once you're in the Big Brother house, it might be one of the safest places to be."
The two-hour season premiere of Big Brother airs Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Following the premiere, the series will air Sundays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET, featuring the live eviction show hosted by Chen Moonves.