'Big Brother' security breached by special-delivery tennis ball

LOS ANGELES - Screenwriters Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson found watching life on ''Big Brother'' a snore, so the pair devised a plot twist to liven things up.

Allen and Wilson tossed a tennis ball stuffed with fake news stories - including one in which President Clinton purportedly called the CBS reality show a ''national disgrace'' - into the yard of the ''Big Brother'' house Thursday.

''We decided to spice it up, throw a little wrench into the system,'' Allen said Friday.

The pair succeeded in creating a mini-drama: As contestants investigated the ball, a ''Big Brother'' monitor warned them that security had been breached and the contraband was to be surrendered.

The incident was seen on the 'round-the-clock Internet transmission from the house, but CBS said Friday it had yet to decide whether it would be included on the TV show. The contestants were told the stories were a hoax.

''It's a pathetic way to get attention,'' the network said in a statement. ''Hopefully for them, their screenplay is more creative.''

The TV show, in which contestants are sequestered in a camera-filled house for three months, is based at CBS Studio Center. Allen and Wilson were on the lot Wednesday and noticed the house and its 17-foot fence were unguarded.

The pair, both 28, figured the information-deprived players were ripe for a prank. The players are denied newspapers, radio and TV.

''We thought it would be fun for them, fun for us, fun for the show,'' Wilson said. ''We didn't want to do any serious damage, just spark some conversation.''

A friend dummied up fake articles purportedly from the Los Angeles Times. One of the false articles, which include profanity, claimed that ousted contestant William Collins had signed a rap record deal.

Another article cited Clinton's purported outrage concerning the show. ''How can these people, particularly the parents, abandon their families and children for a chance at money and fame?'' said one fake quote attributed to the president.

Eight tennis balls were prepared, but apparently just one landed within bounds.

Wilson and Allen, who said they cleared their prank with an attorney, have not been contacted by CBS. The pair work in feature films and are casting their first movie.

''I think it's one of the most creative things that's happened on the show,'' Wilson said of the prank.

''I'm waiting for the fruit basket (from CBS) when the ratings go up,'' Allen said.

Although the six-night-a-week ''Big Brother'' has earned respectable ratings for CBS, it has yet to equal the network's other reality show, the hit ''Survivor.''


On the Net:

The CBS-Big Brother site: http//www.bigbrother2000.com


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