Nine's success hangs on Big Brother

He is an expensive and mysterious TV star, with a deep and distinctive voice, charged with the responsibility of winning the second half of the ratings season. Can the reappearance of Big Brother help turn around the troubled fortunes of Channel Nine?

The network is still facing a February deadline for its $2.7 billion debt. Things looked promising after the phenomenal ratings success of The Voice and viewer numbers have been strong for the Olympics, despite a lukewarm critical reception.

But staging the Games coverage has come at a price. Nine's managing director, Jeff Browne, told The Sun-Herald the loss from Games coverage would be ''less than $20 million''.

Clearly, the network needs Big Brother to be a hit.

The format, which is famed worldwide, was first screened by Ten in Australia in 2001, before being cancelled after eight seasons.

For the ninth Big Brother, Channel Nine is promising to deliver something completely different to the sleaze and scandal that became the show's trademark.

Nine's first promo advertisement for the new show, one of the best the the Nine Network has produced, showed the new host Sonia Kruger and a group of potential contestants shuffling to an LMFAO song, while making it clear that muscled-up boofheads and plastic surgery princesses were not welcome.

If Nine delivers what it has promised - a range of housemates diverse in age, occupation and culture - the show has the potential to be a massive hit. If not, it is sure to cause disappointment.

Young Australians, aged from about 10 to 14, are already showing a strong interest in the show on social media sites because they did not see it the first time around or are too young to recognise the recycled format.

The new contestants will be unveiled at the Big Brother house on the Gold Coast tomorrow night with Kruger at the helm.

Expect features such as the diary room, communal showers and, of course, Big Brother's booming voice, to return.

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