John P. Filo, CBS
Julie Chen hosts CBS's ninth season of "Big Brother."

Boy have I got good news for you! Nobody from Utah is on "Big Brother."

Oh, wait. That's good news for me. Because it means I don't have to watch it.

Whew!

Of course, none of you is obligated to waste any of the precious moments of your life on this horrible show. And the most horrible thing about it isn't its history of giving awful people their 15 minutes of fame. Or that it's dumb. Or that it's tawdry. Or that it's exploitative.

The most horrible thing about "Big Brother" is that it's boring. As in deadly dull.

You don't have to take my word for it, of course. You can start wasting precious moments of your life when CBS starts airing a ninth — that's right, ninth! — season of "Big Brother" on Tuesday at 8 p.m.

Given the network's lack of original programming as a result of the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America, "Big Brother" isn't just for summer anymore.

There is, however, one way to make "Big Brother" seem like a thrill-a-minute roller coaster ride of excitement. You could watch a show that's even more boring — "Big Brother: After Dark" on CBS's sister channel, Showtime 2.

(Which, of course, you can only get if you're a Showtime subscriber. And you have Showtime 2 — a separate channel — as part of your cable/satellite lineup.)

It's the same sort of thing you can watch on the Internet — a feed from the "Big Brother" house. Of course, because it's a real-time feed, it's completely unedited.

If you think that sounds exciting, it's not. Remember, every week CBS takes hundreds of hours of footage and edits it down to a couple of hours of television by splicing together the most exciting things that happen. And that's boring.

Now imagine watching all the mind-numbing boredom that's edited out and you've got a picture of what "Big Brother: After Dark" looks like.

Snore.

Actually, there is one good thing about it. If you're an insomniac who has trouble sleeping between 1-4 a.m. (when the show airs on Showtime 2), "Big Brother: After Dark" just might be the perfect cure for what ails you.

Snore.

TO SLEAZE OR NOT to sleaze. You tell me.

Here's how CBS describes the big "twist" for "Big Brother 9," which is subtitled "'Til Death Do You Part."

The 16 contestants (who are all single) "will be told they are being matched up with their 'soul mate,' a stranger who may prove to be their true love or their worst nightmare. Whether there is a love connection or not, once paired up, the houseguests' life in the game depends on their partner. They must strategize, plot and scheme together as a couple for a chance at the prize. These 'lovebirds' will live together as a couple — meaning they will sleep in the same bed (italics added), hold head of household as a couple, be nominated for eviction as a pair, and if the time comes, say their goodbyes together upon eviction."

Back in 1990, when I attended my very first Television Critics Association press tour, there was a big stink because in the opening scene of the CBS sitcom "Uncle Buck," a 6-year-old girl walks into the kitchen and says to her brother, "Miles, you suck."

It was a huge controversy.

Today, we have CBS putting unmarried strangers in the same bed together and nobody bats an eye.

How far we've come. ...


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