Julie Chen Moonves wants to host Big Brother for 'as long as I can form a sentence'
Season 23 of Big Brother kicks off tonight with a 90-minute live premiere. For Julie Chen Moonves, it will mark her 26th season hosting the series (when adding in two seasons of Celebrity Big Brother as well one season of Big Brother: Over the Top on CBS All Access). Seeing as how Chen Moonves has been expecting the unexpected for over two decades now, one can't help but wonder how much longer the Chenbot might want to keep the show as part of her basic programming. The answer: As long as she can.
"Let me just say this," answers Chen Moonves when asked about her hosting future."Bob Barker hosted The Price Is Right for 35 years, so get that skinny microphone ready!"
So how long does she foresee herself staying in the gig? "As long as I can form a sentence. I love it. I feel like it's my baby, and I can't imagine ever not doing it. I can't imagine the show existing and me not being part of it. So as long as it's on the air, I'd love to continue doing it."
Chen Moonves is part of CBS's triumvirate of long-running reality hosts, along with Jeff Probst (Survivor), and Phil Keoghan (The Amazing Race and now Tough as Nails). Combined, the three personalities have hosted 97 seasons of reality TV for the network going back to the summer of 2000, and none of them appear ready to retire anytime soon.
And while the Chenbot has also dabbled in acting (most famously playing Ambassador Nancy Kelly on an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles) she has no desire to leave behind hosting to become a full-time thespian. "I was dreadful, just terrible," she says of her foray into acting. "Hats off to actors. That's a hard job, acting natural in an unnatural setting."
Besides, it's also not just that Chen Moonves is still invested in hosting Big Brother, she's also invested as a fan as well.
"I love watching it," she says. "I love being a participant, but I love also being a viewer. I have a vested interest in this. I'm like, 'She did what?' And it's a parenting tool too. I show my 11-year-old son. I'm like, 'See, you cannot behave that way. You will not get away with that behavior. Not in this house. No, no, no. Don't be that guy.'"
And it seems for the foreseeable future, when it comes to hosting, Chen Moonves will continue to be that woman.
Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.