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CBS Sets Premiere Date For Celebrity Big Brother

We still don't know what famous faces will be competing on Celebrity Big Brother, but we finally know when the special will air. TVLine reports that the show will premiere on Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. on CBS and will conclude later that month. The show will air as counter-programming to the Winter Olympics, which will be broadcast on NBC.

Celebrity Big Brother's shorter runtime is no surprise, with executive producer Allison Grodner saying when the show was announced that it would have to be pared down in order to accommodate the celebrities' busy schedules. "It's important that it still feels like Big Brother, but it doesn't infringe on what we know about the summer," said Grodner. "It will have its own spin. And it needs to feel like an event series that we do each year."

While Big Brother has traditionally been a summer show, CBS did test out its winter appeal last year with the shortened Big Brother: Over the Top, which aired on CBS All Access from September through December. Unlike that show, Celebrity Big Brother will air on the network, something which host Julie Chen thinks will answer some interesting questions about the show's power with viewers.

Chen said that she felt like Big Brother: Over the Top's tepid reception with fans may have been in part due to oversaturation, adding that part of the show's success comes from the fact that it only airs in the summer "when the competition isn't as stiff." "It's easier to be a winner in the summer than it is in the fall and winter," she said. "I'm hopeful, but I'm going to reserve judgment." 

Grodner and Chen are looking to recruit some big names to bring viewers into the show, with Chen citing Dancing with the Stars as a casting process she'd like to follow. "They don't always get all household names, but some people kind of reinvent themselves and suddenly I see that person all over the tabloids," she said. Added Grodner, "It will be an eclectic group with diverse personalities and we're looking forward to seeing who will be interested."

As for who they would like to get, Chen had quite a few ideas. "Tonya Harding," she said. "Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, that's a love affair waiting to happen. Sean Spicer and Melissa McCarthy, which will never happen. Andy Cohen is a superfan, hilarious and speaks his mind. He's not afraid to stand up for himself or a friend and he's fiercely loyal. And who is the one who acts crazy every now and then? Is it Shia LaBeouf? I don't know if I want him."

While this will be the first time that a star studded version of the show has aired stateside, the United Kingdom has had some luck with their attempts at bringing famous faces into the house. Their Celebrity Big Brother has been airing since 2001 and has featured celebs like Gary Busey, Brandi Glanville, Stephen Baldwin, Perez Hilton, Ivana Trump, Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, and former Big Brother U.S. competitor (and brother of Ariana Grande) Frankie Grande.