General News

EXTRA: Crashing 'Big Brother'

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Mar 19, 2001 | 11:50am EST

It would have been a beautiful headline: "Hollywood.com Crashes Set of 'Big Brother.'" But (sigh), it was just not meant to be.

We admit -- shameless, fearless and acting kinda dumb -- we tried to storm the fortified, hush-hush "Big Brother" house on the CBS lot here in Southern California's San Fernando Valley and get the scoop on the cast in time for the show's Wednesday night premiere.

And we also admit, our mission failed -- but not because we couldn’t get on the premises (as one might expect), rather, it was because we couldn’t find the stupid little house on that big lot.

All things considered, getting past the security front gate was the easy part. We parked (on the streets) and walked past the security booth into the CBS Studio Lot (not to brag, but we did that twice). No questions were asked, and not so much as a glance was shot our way.

But once inside, our task became much more daunting. For those who haven’t yet trespassed the CBS lot, it is filled with fake streets, fake neighborhoods, fake suburban houses and many, many huge studio lots (big warehouses for sound stages and more fakery).

Needless to say, CBS never disclosed the exact location of the titular house. So basically we were left to comb the entire lot for what may (or may not) have been the 1,800-square foot, two-bedroom house.

We had nothing to go by -- not the color of the house, not its general placement -- but our own intuition, which said to look out for any gathering with a big group of people.

CBS Studio On we paced, patroling rows and rows of studio spaces (Oh, that’s where they shoot blah, blah, blah), passing trailers (Hmm, that’s the makeup trailer for yadda, yadda, yadda), crossing little villages of bungalows (Er, Bungalow #5, whatever that means) ...

And hoping that perhaps we could trick someone into telling us where it is, we even struck up a conversation with an amicable-looking fellow working on the lot. We started with small talk, commiserating about how much walking one has to do around the lot, etc.

Then, seizing the right moment, we innocuously slipped the question, asking if he’s seen the "Big Brother" house yet.

He told us, yes, he had, but only from afar. He expressed surprise as to how unguarded the house actually is. Seeing an in, we then wondered aloud -- in that sort-of-asking, sort-of-saying way, "Oh yeah, by the way, the house is near ..." -- hoping that he’d take the bait and finish the sentence.

But he didn’t.

Fed up, we decided to ask one of the security guards, which was probably a bad idea since we were immediately asked to leave the lot.

Great, now everybody gets to watch "Big Brother" except us.

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