'Big Brother' Season Premiere Promises New Twists, Returning Guests (VIDEO)

"Big Brother" is set to premiere its 14th season on Thursday, July 12, and this season features a new house and plenty of new twists for the competitors. While there are currently 12 housemates, four more fan favorites are scheduled to return with the hope of winning a special "mentor" grand prize.

According to CBS.com, 16 former housemates were in the running to return to "Big Brother." There were originally 16, but every day, CBS will announce one contender who will not be featured on the latest season. Fans will remember such names as Rachel the diva from seasons 12 and 13 and pretty boy Jessie from seasons 10 and 11.

Host Julie Chen will return to guide contestants through a series of challenges that will bring them one step closer to $500,000. Each week, the players will face unique challenges and games to win the coveted Head of Household, which gives him or her the power to nominate two contestants for eviction.

The series, originally modeled after the original Dutch series, has become a summer staple for the United States. It is now in season 14 and shows no signs of slowing down. Various series have spun-off the successful model, including "Glass House," which is currently on the air.

ABC and CBS have been deadlocked in a legal battle over whether "Glass House" infringed upon "Big Brother" in any way. The court has allowed "Glass House" to air, but the case is far from settled.

"Big Brother" has become so popular that it now provides live Internet feeds as well as "Big Brother: After Dark," a special pay-per-view series that provides unaired footage of the houseguests. Airing from 12:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. EST, the series is raw footage for viewers and is described by executive producer Allison Grodner as "prime time. It's when our Houseguests are most wide awake and having fun, talking about strategy and playing the game."

"Big Brother" premieres Thursday, July 12, at 9:00 p.m. EST on CBS.

Watch a preview of "Big Brother" HERE: