After One of the Worst Seasons of Big Brother, Can Reindeer Games Reinvigorate the Franchise?

Spoilers

Big Brother has been on the air for over 23 years, delivering wild twists, quests for power, and drama.

This year’s entry — Big Brother 25 — was the show’s longest to date, clocking in at 100 days- long, resulting in one of the biggest duds in its history.

If you were in the market for twists that went nowhere, the game being randomly paused for a week thanks to a twist, and evictions not sticking, it was the season you’ve always been waiting for.

As a fan since the beginning, I want to forget about Big Brother Season 25 because it went on too long and didn’t have the excitement of prior seasons due to the terrible pace.

While there were rumors that CBS could be prepping a Legends season for the winter as the network struggles with a lack of shows due to the strikes, we’re getting something different.

Josh on Reindeer Games - Big Brother

Big Brother Reindeer Games Format Explained

Big Brother: Reindeer Games features nine returning players competing for $100,000, but it’s not the Big Brother format the U.S. iteration has utilized for over two decades.

Instead of nominating and evicting, the contestants will compete in competitions that will govern their place in the game, meaning that you won’t thrive with no competition wins and a solid social game.

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The contestants won’t even be living together in the house. They’ll be showing up for competitions and going back home.

After such a long and tiring season of Big Brother, we need a break from the franchise, but Big Brother: Reindeer Games could serve as the palette cleanser we need.

Xavier for Reindeer Games - Big Brother

Big Brother Reindeer Games Cast Revealed

The sad part of the cast is that CBS is rolling with “Legends” being a part of the cast because if we’re talking Legends, I’m thinking of people like Dan Gheesling, Rachel Reilly, Janelle Pierzina, and Dr. Will.

Some legitimate legends are in the cast, including Danielle Reyes and Britney Haynes.

The entire cast is as follows:

Cody for Reindeer Games - Big Brother

– Cody Calafiore (BB16 and BB22)

– Nicole Franzel (BB16, BB18, and BB22)

– Frankie Grande (BB16)

– Taylor Hale (BB24)

– Cameron Hardin (BB25)

Britney for Reindeer Games - Big Brother

– Britney Haynes (BB12 and BB14)

– Josh Martinez (BB19)

– Xavier Prather (BB23)

The season will feature “Magical Elves” Derek Xiao, Tiffany Mitchell, and Jordan Lloyd.

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With nine cast members, recent winners Taylor Hale and Xavier Prather are memorable houseguests, so it would have been iffy if they weren’t on the cast.

Taylor Hale for Reindeer Games - Big Brother

The person with the most questionable legendary status is Cameron.

He was a competition beast on Big Brother Season 25 and somehow got a rosy edit despite some icky happenings on the Big Brother Live Feed.

It would have been a good idea not to feature anyone from that season entirely because it’s still so fresh in our minds, but production is going to production.

Nicole is one of the most polarizing figures in Big Brother’s history because many viewers are unimpressed with how she plays the game.

Nicole for Reindeer Games - Big Brother

Her actions led to backlash during her most recent turn on Big Brother 22 — another disappointing season.

The only reason I can think that producers wanted her on the cast was to have a storyline between her and Big Brother 22 winner Cody.

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They were closely aligned during that season, and she was blindsided by Cody’s decision to cut her at the end and seemingly cut all ties with him as a result.

Producers will want people with ties to each other to bring drama into the show.

Cameron for Reindeer Games - Big Brother

Janelle and Dan would have been great picks, but they wouldn’t have been able to sign up due to their contracts with Peacock because they’re both appearing on The Traitors Season 2.

Rachel was ghosted by producers, according to Pierzina, which is pretty wild when you consider that she’s one of the people fans have wanted back on the show for years.

The only way for that to make sense is if CBS is prepping the long-gestating Legends season, which would bring contestants back for a condensed Big Brother season.

Rachel is a natural on reality TV and consistently delivers good TV, so knowing she was interested in the show but didn’t make the cut is shocking.

Danielle for Reindeer Games - Big Brother

Making sense of casting decisions will never happen because, more often than not, the people we want the most don’t make the final cast.

There’s no telling what Big Brother: Reindeer Games has in store for viewers, but Big Brother Over the Top delivered one of the best seasons in franchise history, so stranger things have happened.

If Reindeer Games struggles to help viewers forget the horrible parts of Big Brother 25, there’s a good chance many won’t return when the show kicks back off in the summer with its 26th season.

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The sad reality is that Big Brother was once the poster child for reality TV, but the rise of The Traitors, Love Island Games, and Squid Game: The Challenge, which deliver the cutthroat level of gameplay Big Brother is lacking, means the venerable CBS series risks being left in the dust.

Frankie for Reindeer Games - Big Brother

A lot is riding on Big Brother Reindeer Games because there’s a high chance it will be a deciding factor for fans about how they feel about the franchise.

What are your thoughts on the cast picks for the series?

Do you think there are enough legends?

Hit the comments.

Big Brother: Reindeer Games premieres on CBS on Monday, December 11, at 9 p.m. ET.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on X.

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