General News

Something to boost "Big Brother's" ratings

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Jul 12, 2001 | 10:00am EDT

Although a promo for Thursday's episode of Big Brother urging viewers to "find out what everyone's talking about" began airing Wednesday night, CBS said earlier in the day that it will not show the scene that resulted in contestant Justin Sebik's being booted from the house. However, according to published reports, the scene, in which Sebik held a kitchen knife to the throat of another contestant, Krista Stegall, while they were kissing, was witnessed by Web site subscribers who paid $19.95 to watch live coverage inside the Big Brother house. (It was also quickly circulated around the Internet.) The online media magazine Inside reported Wednesday that the two contestants appeared under the influence of alcohol. A statement issued by CBS said, "Intimidation, violence and even the threat of violence will not be tolerated." Producer Arnold Shapiro, who had been brought in to boost ratings for the reality series, issued a statement saying, "Justin's behavior crossed the line of tolerable and acceptable behavior and was a blatant violation of the house rules we established."

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