Since the U.S. edition of Big Brother premiered in July 2000, the CBS reality game show has become a pop culture phenomenon. Each season, viewers dedicate themselves to watching the houseguests’ every move, thanks to not only the TV episodes but also the 24/7 live feeds online as well as countless Twitter accounts and Reddit threads that follow the series day in and day out.
Julie Chen has served as the host of Big Brother and all of its editions since day one — even after her husband, Les Moonves, was ousted from his role as CEO of the network in September 2018 over sexual misconduct allegations. (He has denied having any nonconsensual sexual encounters.)
Big Brother has had multiple iterations since its premiere, including an all-stars season in 2006, a streaming-only version titled Over the Top in 2016 and two celebrity editions so far.
“I had no idea if it was going to last past season 1,” Chen told CBS Local in July 2018. “And if we did get through season 1, I thought I was going to get fired — the critics didn’t like me, they didn’t like the show. We went through some major changes between season 1 and season 2, and first and foremost we have fans who were extremely loyal ever since season 1.”
She added, “We have a lot of fun changing the game so that each year we have our loyal fans coming back, new fans check it out, and here we are! I really don’t see any signs of us slowing down. It’s like an addiction at this point; it’s a guilty pleasure.”
And nearly 20 years in, the show continues to make history: in February 2019, Tamar Braxton became the first-ever black winner in the U.S. franchise’s run. Making her victory even sweeter, the R&B singer received a unanimous vote from her former housemates to take home the $250,000 grand prize over former NFL running back Ricky Williams.
From Eddie McGee to Braxton, scroll down to take a look back at every Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother: Over the Top winner from 2000 to 2019!