While there are still hurdles to cross before a season could begin amid COVID-19 concerns, this move is a glimmer of hope that the 20th anniversary season of the CBS summer staple is on the way.
It was July 5, 2000 when the U.S. version of "Big Brother" first hit the airwaves. Since then, the launch date has shifted more to late June, but amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, fans have been left with nothing but hope and speculation.
Now, just days before the official 20th anniversary of the CBS reality stalwart comes the biggest glimmer of hope yet. While the show is, obviously, not going to be broadcasting on that momentous anniversary, could there be big news forthcoming?
It looks like construction and pre-production on the house itself is underway, according to a report by Deadline. There are still some key logistical issues to work through, but this certainly feels like CBS and the show's producers are feeling confident it's going to happen.
Speculation and rumors have been running rampant that one of the solutions CBS has come up with to make this season easier to produce is by bringing back past favorites for only the second "All-Star" edition in the show's history.
Rumors also have it those conversations have already begun, with some having signed up. So it's entirely possible the cast has already signed up and are participating in a two-week mandatory COVID-19 quarantine before entering the house.
Production is reportedly still awaiting union and guild approval for principal photography and filming, but this approval to begin laying the groundwork for what would be Season 22 of the series is a promising sign that it's coming sooner than later.
Teams working on the house are already following strict guidelines for health and safety, including masks, social distancing (when possible) and regular testing. Having those procedures and practices already outlined is yet another good sign that the production is ready for the madcap rush of putting a season together.
CBS has been bullish for months that they'd be able to pull off a regular season of "Big Brother" even as COVID-19 continues to impact every aspect of daily life across the nation. And with the current rise in cases, a delayed production start could be a mixed blessing.
Amid an uncertain future as the country grapples with a pandemic dangerously close to being completely out of control, CBS could benefit from a delayed "Big Brother" pushing a little deeper into the fall season.
The popular show airs three nights a week, which could give the network a little extra time should coronavirus concerns delay production on some of their other new and returning shows this fall.
And if things do wind up having to get shut down entirely again, they could just transition from a clean regular production of "Big Brother" into another celebrity edition for the fall. We'd imagine a lot of celebrities wouldn't see much difference in being quarantined at home or in the Big Brother house.
At least in the latter, they can raise money for a good cause, and raise awareness for serious issues going on in the world. Plus, in that scenario, there would be a lot more available celebs to call ... wonder how many would take that call?