Kate Bulkley is covering MIPTV at Cannes for Deadline
Charlie Sheen — international reality star? Endemol’s Big Brother will be back on UK screens this summer with a celebrity version that could include the troubled US actor, according to UK press reports. Endemol executives, including CEO Ynon Kreiz, celebrated at MIPTV last night after finally signing a new deal with UK Channel Five, now under the ownership of Richard Desmond, a UK press baron.
The new deal is reckoned to be worth £200 million over two years and will see a celebrity version in August and then a return to a traditional 13-week run in September. Desmond’s Daily Star newspaper reports that for the celebrity version there is a “top of the wanted list” including Mohamed al-Fayed, Charlie Sheen as well as Amy Childs from popular UK TV program The Only Way is Essex and Prince Harry’s “on-off girlfriend” Chelsy Davy. Desmond’s Northern Shell company bought Channel 5 last summer for £103.5 million from RTL Group after the European TV group failed to increase the ratings. Desmond has drastically cut costs at the broadcaster but is expected to put money into programs that he can cross-promote with his UK newspapers. Endemol has spent the last nine months negotiating with Desmond to get Big Brother back on UK TV after Channel 4 dropped the show last year.