How did you come up with the idea for an All Stars season, instead of brand new houseguests?
Big Brother 7 Supervising Producer John Platt (left) and Co-executive Producer Don Wollman
JP: We’ve all been wanting to do an All Star season for years, just hoping we’d get through enough seasons to make it a viable option!
DW: The combination of producer, network, and internet interest convinced us that this was the year to do it.
Can you tell us about any major differences in the house itself, this year?
DW: There are lots of surprises with the house this year, but as always that’s kept top secret until the show goes on air.
JP: We don’t want those sneaky houseguests reading this and figuring stuff out!
What differences do you perceive will exist in this all-stars season compared to pervious seasons?
DW: They’re going to work harder to get their $500,000 this year, that’s for sure.
JP: I think the game play will be at a higher level overall than ever before. After all, these players are the best of the best!
With things like AOL Streaming and YouTube, do you plan on offering more content online other than the feeds?
JP: We hope to expand our on-line interactivity, and to offer wireless phone content for the first time to keep game updates literally at your fingertips.
How about a behind the scenes video blog or podcast?
JP: We’re certainly not going to show any behind the scenes footage. What do you guys want? To watch Don and I on the phone? The HouseGuests are much more interesting than us.
DW: I’ve already made my Munster House appearance, and that’s enough for me!
Will there be any new rules this year? like,will everyone be able to compete in POVs this year to avoid backdoor evictions?
JP: We are letting you guys VOTE for your favorite house guests, that’s pretty darn new! And we’ll make this year’s show different from any other. As for new rules regarding backdoor evictions…who the heck asked that question? Are there potential All Stars on this website….?
Has there been a renewed commitment to return to food competitions every week and to perhaps add luxury and other competitions?
DW: Now that it’s been revealed that Big Brother will air on SUNDAYS rather than Saturdays this year, we’re not as likely to be pre-empted late in the season for football, as happened several times last year.
JP: And to that other part of your question: perhaps.
Rumor has it that you'll simply recycle old challenges. True?
DW: Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, we’re in the midst of a games meeting right now with our mostly brand new competitions department.
JP: I’m already getting excited about the challenges they’re pitching this year!
Is this the last season of Big Brother? (also a rumor)
JP: Who the heck told you that?? When they built this brand new, super-deluxe Big Brother compound last year it certainly seemed like it was being built to last for years.
DW: Are you kidding? I’m looking forward to BB-20!
JP: Don always says, if we do our job well and people keep watching, we’ll keep making the show…and hopefully make it better and better each year.
Were you turned down by any houseguests who you had hoped would return?
JP: I wasn’t around for the casting process this year, but was thrilled when I arrived to discover the caliber of players who were in the top 20…even some people I never thought would ever agree to another summer of Big Brother hardships.
DW: We don’t want to give you any clues before the big reveal on June 21st.
JP: I didn’t just give anything away, did I, Don? Am I still employed here…?
Was there discussion to raise the jackpot to $1 mil for the all-star season?
JP: I discussed it years ago, and Don said it would have to come out of my paycheck…at which time, I stopped discussing it. Not sure if others have taken up the cause.
Will the HG be permitted to sing this season?
DW: What you may not know is that music licensing is in an extraordinarily expensive process. For example, just to license “Happy Birthday,” a song that is not in the public domain, cost us several thousand dollars.
JP: We don’t even sing in the offices around here. Actually, I can’t sing.
Have they ever considered going back to making hot water a luxury, only making it available for a couple of hours a day like on BB1?
JP: Don? You’re the only one of us who was actually here on Season 1…I didn’t start until BB2.
DW: If I recall correctly, hot water wasn’t a luxury. Rather, depriving the HouseGuests of hot water was a punishment for sleeping late…whether we would do that this year may depend on how lazy these All Stars are.
How about doing weekly challenges again to earn their food allowance? Food competitions are great to watch. Why did you in midseason last year scrap the food competitions and decided to just give them food without earning it?
DW: I think we sort of answered that question above, didn’t we?
JP: Yeh, I think so. Losing some of the Saturday shows last year caused the food comps to disappear early, which Sunday airings should hopefully prevent. Other weeks were just too busy with luxury competitions and special events. Our competitions producers and art department need to sleep at least one day a month…well, maybe.
If you both didn’t work on the show, would you want to be on BB? Why or why not?
DW: I’ve been in the business for a long time. This is the best show I’ve ever worked on.
JP: I love coming back here each summer. The show’s so well run…it has to be to produce the shows as fast as we do. And I’d certainly miss the process if I wasn’t here.
How do you feel about America's Choice revealing America's hatred of the Nerd Herd? Does that count as contact with the outside world?
DW: America’s choice simply revealed their preference for certain people in the Sovereign 6.
JP: Interesting question, though. I’m sure those in ‘The Friendship Alliance had their own ideas about what America’s choice meant, but they couldn’t know for sure.
Any chance of having an "Insider" or some secret missions for housemates? How about being a LITTLE open to successful elements of international BB shows?
JP: If we answered that question, I guess there’d be no chance of ‘secret’ anythings.
DW: That’s right.
JP: And I hate to admit it, but I don’t keep up with the international versions of the show, as I’m too busy producing shows here in the states. Though I’d like to watch some during my next hiatus…preferably in some place nice, like Tahiti. Do they have BB down there?
Any chance for feeds of the sequester house or having sequesters HMs have some part in the rest of the game?
DW: While we show footage in the live show each week from the sequester house, to have live feeds in the same fashion that we do from the Big Brother House would be cost prohibitive.
Does the season end early with fewer houseguests?
JP: The end of season is determined by when CBS starts its fall season. We’ve had different numbers of HouseGuests over the years and we’ve always ended our run approximately the same week in September. So I guess the simple answer is ‘no.’