05/22/2009 08:49 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Gitmo Detainees Transferred to 'Big Brother'

In what is being called a historic deal between the United States government and a major broadcast network, prisoners at the detention camp in Guantanamo were transferred today to the CBS reality series Big Brother.

The history-making arrangement drew praise from Senate Democrats, who had earlier blocked the closing of the detention camp, and from CBS executives, who had been desperately searching for something to spice up their fall schedule.

"We wanted to be sure that these terror suspects were someplace where they could be constantly monitored," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "And we could think of no better place than the Big Brother house, which has a camera in every room."

Moments after the deal was struck, terror suspects from Gitmo were flown to Manhattan so they could take part in CBS' splashy "upfront" presentation for advertisers at Radio City Music Hall.

In welcoming the terror suspects to the CBS family, network boss Les Moonves brushed aside criticism that he was harboring jihadists: "Only one out of seven of them are."

For his part, Sen. Reid said that the Senate Democrats accepted CBS' offer for the detainees after turning down a competing bid from NBC, who had hoped to build a sitcom around them in the style of "The Office."

"There were too many security concerns about putting them on NBC," Sen. Reid said. "Nobody would be watching them."

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