Big Brother is the British and Irish version of the international reality television franchise Big Brother created by producer John de Mol in 1997. The show follows a number of contestants, known as housemates, who are isolated from the outside world for an extended period of time in a custom built House. Each week, one of the housemates is evicted by a public vote, with the last housemate remaining winning a cash prize. The series takes its name from the character in George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. The series premiered on 18 July 2000 on Channel 4, and immediately became a ratings hit. The series also featured a 24-hour live feed, in which fans could view inside the house at any time. Big Brother aired for eleven series on Channel 4, followed by one final special edition, Ultimate Big Brother, which ended on 10 September 2010. Following this, Channel 5 acquired the rights to the series, and it was officially relaunched on 18 August 2011. The show aired its fifteenth series in 2014, and following the finale on 15 August 2014, Willis announced that the show would be back for a sixteenth series in 2015. It was announced on 19 March 2015 that the show would remain on air until at least 2018.