I read that CBS has gone on record and said that Big Brother is not a game show, but a reality show. I guess CBS has found their loophole for rigging a game show, outside the the competitions. I'm reminded of the great movie "Quiz Show" now when I think of Big Brother
Right, everything turns on whether or not CBS is selling this as a game or not. It seems to me they are. One season they explicitly told the houseguests "the game board is set" and the producers could not retool the game as it went along. What's your source for CBS representing that they're not bound by the restrictions since the quiz show scandals? CBS has a lot to lose if they cheat here: lawsuits from all former players, prosecutions, etc., and there's no way they can count on secrecy because too many low paid people are involved in production.
As a game, CBS has plenty of leeway to work a situation to their ratings advantage by locking people down in the DR at the right times, and by working them psychologically in the DR without stepping over the line of illegality. Leading questions, etc., and a team of lawyers that vets the producers' ideas for interacting with the houseguests. Obviously, any outcome of a series of events on this earth can be rationalized after the fact as the fixed plan of those who benefited from the outcome. So their needs to be more evidence than the mere fact that someone benefited from a series of events. What's more, as screaming conspiracy theorists lather each other up on the internet, I think that does more in favor of the show's ratings than against them, so why would CBS care as long as there lawyers tell them they're on solid ground?
If it's any indication of CBS's willingness to engage in some high risk cheating, consider what happened in season 1. As the viewing public proceeded to ruin the show by voting out the most hated and therefore most appealng houseguests, CBS intervened by offering $50,000 to the houseguests if they'd accept a new, handpicked housguest. CBS was obviously restrained from swooping in and changing the show as they wanted, so maybe the network is still bound by the same restrictions.