Julie Chen Showcases 'BB' House & Reveals Twist


Summer officially begins this Friday, which means that Big Brother is gearing up for its annual season. With only a week left until Season 15 premieres, host Julie Chen gave ET a tour of the new house and previewed the upcoming season, which contains a new twist.

Although the basic premise of the reality game show, which premiered in 2000, will remain the same, Chen teased a new spin on the show, which she says will involve its viewers more than ever.

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"America will play a role where it affects nominations. ... America is going to kind of almost be the seventeenth houseguest." Chen revealed.

"... In years past, it's been America's choice: 'Do you want the houseguests eating sardines for a week?'... This year, America's role is much bigger and it affects the game because it's going to affect nominations every week."

As for the house this season's houseguests will inhabit, Chen gave ET a behind-the-scenes look at everything from the luxurious Head of Household room, which is symbolically draped in black and white, to the lounge, equipped with a cocktail table.

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"The theme this year is really mid-century...'60s, 'Mad Men' feel but the vision that the architects of the '60s had for the future," she previewed.

Included in the array of mid-century/modern furniture is a blueprint on the wall of one of the bedrooms of the famous Eames lounge chair created by Charles and Ray Eames in the mid-'50s. According to Chen, houseguests will be encouraged more than ever to conjure up their own unique approach to winning Big Brother much like the Eameses' distinctive take on furniture in their day.

Chen, who is also a co-host on The Talk, will be joined by her talk-show friends in the Big Brother house before the show begins, and she is expecting some surprises during their stay.

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That same anticipated uncertainty is what she says has kept her engaged in the show after more than a decade of hosting it.

"The way I keep it fresh is I get inspired by these houseguests. I get so into it that [I'm] just like... 'I can't wait until Wednesday night when I see who gets voted out!'" Chen said. "The houseguests make the show, so they keep me on my toes."

Watch the video for a tour of this season's Big Brother house and see the abode in action when Big Brother premieres on Wednesday, June 26 at 8 p.m. on CBS.