Germany's new Big Brother format - the reality TV show set to run on-and-on in the style of 1998 film THE TRUMAN SHOW - will come to a premature end because of poor ratings.

BIG BROTHER: The Village, filmed on a 5000 square metre purpose-built set outside Cologne, Germany, started in March (05) and was scheduled to end on 26 February 2006.

But KATJA HOFEM-BEST, spokeswoman for TV channel RTL II, says, "The series has not attracted as many viewers as we would have liked."

Participants were given a social status and expected to work as part of the competition to win 1 million euros ($1,172,000/GBP678,000).

When the show began, RTL II described it as "the world's first real-life soap opera".