'Big Brother Canada' Cancelled Mid-Season Due to Coronavirus

The move caps a tumultuous season in which one player quit and two more were ejected for "inappropriate behaviour"
'Big Brother Canada' Cancelled Mid-Season Due to Coronavirus
The eighth season of Big Brother Canada has been cancelled in the middle of production due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

The latest instalment of the reality show franchise, in which strangers are isolated from the outside world in a house and compete against each other to avoid elimination, has been filming on a soundstage in Toronto since February 29. Today, the production team announced that filming has ended prematurely, a day after Toronto Mayor John Tory declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement posted to the Big Brother Canada website, producers say that "Big Brother Canada has no plans to resume production at a later date." Filming on the season was initially set to end with a live finale on May 21 after 83 days, but instead ended today after 25 days.

"Big Brother Canada is a labour of love for so many, and even though it hurts to say goodbye to the season, it's the right thing to do," said Big Brother Canada host Arisa Cox. "On behalf of the incredible people who put this show together, thank you to everyone who started this journey with us. Please take care and be safe!"

The season will conclude with two more episodes: one on March 25 and a finale on April 1.

At the time production wrapped, 12 of the 16 contestants remained in the house. The season had already gained notoriety after three of the four departed contestants left the game under unorthodox circumstances — one had quit the game and two more were ejected after displaying "inappropriate behaviour."

The season was being filmed and aired live during the coronavirus pandemic. Beginning March 12, the production stopped having live studio audiences during elimination episodes. The contestants were told of the pandemic shortly thereafter and assessed by a doctor.

Big Brother Canada was one of several international editions of the franchise being filmed and aired during the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably, Big Brother Germany contestants were told in a special live episode on March 17, after late arrivals were specifically instructed not to tell others about the growing threat of COVID-19.