Channel 7 is resurrecting a controversial X-rated program that hasn’t aired in 17 years.
Big Brother Uncut, which was axed in 2006 following mounting backlash, will form part of Seven’s 2024 programming line-up alongside a new season of Big Brother.
The Australian reality show was slated to return to screens in November but it’s now been delayed until next year, Seven announced at its Upfronts event in Sydney on Wednesday.
Sonia Kruger will be back to host the show, with Uncut set to stream on its digital platform, 7plus, some time next year.
The return of Uncut is an unexpected addition to the network’s program schedule, with the show attracting significant controversy in its heyday, when it aired late at night from its debut in 2001 until 2006 on Channel 10.
Uncut – which was rebranded to Adults Only for its final season – used to air explicit footage of the housemates, ranging from them showering nude, to getting intimate and talking about sex.
Content was unsuitable for the early evening show, and would air for an hour each week after 9.30pm.
Network Ten eventually decided to pull it in June 2006, saying the backlash to the series was “putting unfair pressure on our team.”
A few weeks after Adults Only was axed, Big Brother’s future was in jeopardy after two male housemates were accused of sexually assaulting female housemate, Camilla Severi, who later declined to press charges.
The outrage was so significant, then Australian prime minister John Howard even weighed in and demanded Ten cancel the show.
“Here’s a great opportunity for Channel 10 to do a bit of self-regulation and get this stupid programme off the air,” Howard sad at the time.
Then-communications minister Helen Coonan referred the matter to the media watchdog to determine if the incident breached the television code of practice. It didn’t air on TV but was streamed online.
Both men, who went by the names ‘Ashley’ and ‘John’ in the house, were evicted immediately following the incident.
Big Brother would go on to air for another two years on Ten, before taking a four-year hiatus and returning on rival network, Channel 9, for two seasons.
The show, which has struggled to reach the popularity of its earlier years, made yet another comeback, this time, on Channel 7, which has aired the program since 2020.
Elsewhere among Seven’s Upfronts announcements, a new reality show Made in Bondi is set to premiere next year.
Based on the popular UK show Made in Chelsea, the series will follow young Sydney socialites as they navigate love and drama.
Returning favourites include Farmer Wants A Wife, The Voice, Dancing With The Stars, Australian Idol, My Kitchen Rules and SAS Australia.