We know some details about what’s going to be new this season — viewers can choose the 13th houseguest, and viewers will vote for the winning houseguest — but can you give us a couple other examples of how Over the Top is different?
AG: Well, obviously you just mentioned the biggest thing, and it’s that the audience will be choosing the winner in the end. They will be crowning the winner of Big Brother and [awarding] a quarter million dollar prize. The audience will be very involved with the game, and a lot of that will be revealed specifically in that first week. We can tell you that they will be involved in nominations.
RM: And the eviction vote… We feel like by choosing the winner and adding a cast member and then having a role in nominations and evictions, fans are really going to have a heavy hand in the strategy and making a difference in the game like never before.
Related: ‘Big Brother: Over the Top’: Meet the Houseguests
AG: You really can be an active participant in changing things up each week if you are a viewer. You can also enjoy it and be a passive viewer as well. There’s all different ways of involving yourself in Big Brother.
Preview: Big Brother: Over the Top
Big Brother: Over the Top, a new digital series exclusive to CBS All Access, will premiere Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM PT.
We’ve heard some rumblings of something called the “safety ceremony.” Is there anything you can tease about that?
AG: Yeah, it’s a new way of looking at the nominations.
RM: When we started developing this series we kind of looked at it differently than we looked at the broadcast series. [For broadcast], we really focused on, “What are those three hours a week going to look like?” Now on this one, it’s, “What is the live series going to be like?” So the safety ceremony is a play on nomination that plays out over a longer period of time so that people can tune in more often to find out who is safe over the course of a couple days. As opposed to everything happening in one moment at the nomination ceremony, which is over really quickly, this is something that’s going to play out over a couple days — ending with the two people that will be nominated for eviction. So there are more reasons to watch live, more reasons to log on.
I’ve also read something about an incentive to keep the houseguests awake. Is that in any way related to the safety ceremony, or is that its own form of torture?
AG: [Laughs] It shouldn’t be torture. Look, this is a show that’s playing out live to tons of feeds 24 hours, seven days a week. So the show and the format we constructed, it sort of promotes an activity or interaction. And so with that comes a curfew for staying awake, not sleeping — an awake curfew — so they will have hours that they will be staying awake. That is new to this season.