Big Brother 12 is produced by Endemol USA and Fly on the Wall Entertainment with Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan returning as executive producers. This season of the program was announced on September 10, 2009, five days before the season finale of Big Brother 11. Casting for the program began during the final week of Big Brother 11 with potential applicants submitting video tape submissions that were due by April 23, 2010. Open auditions began on March 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California and continued across the nation in various cities including Chicago, Illinois; Washington, D.C.; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Columbus, Ohio. Applicants chosen to be a finalist went to Los Angeles, California, from which forty finalists were chosen. CBS warned people of unofficial casting companies charging a fee to audition for the show while casting ended on May 20, 2010. Executive producer Allison Grodner later stated "We're excited for the summer. We're excited for a brand new cast of terrific competitors. And we do have that. There are personalities and backgrounds of people, types of people that we have not seen before in the Big Brother house, which is hard because we've been doing this now for 11, 12 seasons."
The 13 HouseGuests this season were competing for the main prize of $500,000. The winner of the series, determined by the previously evicted HouseGuests, would win the $500,000 prize, while the Runner-Up would receive a $50,000 prize. Other than the main prize, various luxuries and prizes were given out throughout the season.
Big Brother 12 was broadcast on CBS from July 8, 2010 to September 15, 2010. This season lasted a total of 75 days, an increase from the previous season. This season featured some changes to the schedule that was used in the previous edition, with episodes airing on Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday each week. This is a change from the previous season, which aired on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. The Thursday episode, which aired at 8 PM Eastern time, featured the live eviction and subsequent Head of Household competition taking place. During the live eviction, the show was hosted by Julie Chen. The Sunday episode, which aired at 8 PM Eastern time, featured the food competition and nomination ceremony, as well as some highlights from the previous days. The Wednesday episode, which aired at 8 PM Eastern Time, featured the Power of Veto competition and the Power of Veto ceremony, along with more highlights of recent events in the game. The series was broadcast on Global Television Network in Canada.
Much like the previous editions, the live feeds were also available again for this season. HouseGuests enter the house a few days before the premiere, and the feeds are not live for the first few days. They later go live after the broadcast of the launch episode. This season did see the return of the Big Brother: After Dark spin-off series, which aired on Showtime Too nightly from 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. Eastern Time. The show served as a live feed into the house, and was edited only for slanderous statements and music copyrights. Much like the previous season, Big Brother 12 is available for digital purchasing on iTunes and Amazon.com. Big Brother maintained an online platform with live subscription feeds from RealNetworks, a redesigned and relaunched website, online videos, full episodes, a fantasy game and segments on Inside Dish with Ross Mathews. For the first time Big Brother launched two Twitter accounts; one featured updates from the production staff and one featured updates from the current Head of Household. Episodes of Big Brother continued to be streamed on CBS Mobile Channel on FLOTV. Mobile users were also able to interact and influence the show through SMS text messaging and, for the first time, a simulation game based on Big Brother was also available to mobile customers. New features included a video trivia game and the "Big Brother Ultimate Fan" contest where the winner was able to attend the season finale meet the HouseGuests.
As with each season since Big Brother 6, the program was filmed at CBS Studios in Studio City, California. The production team was located in the second story of the House which included the story department, audio department and the switchers and shaders. The house was equipped with 52 cameras and 95 microphones to record the participants. The art department that created the competitions for the program was located outside the house. The house theme was the beach and Miami. The living room featured blue and grey colored walling and furniture. The room that had featured a gym the previous season was now known as the "Cabana" room, and simply featured a large seating area. The bathroom in the house was colored in white, yellow, and brown, while yellow railing and plastic flamingos are featured by the stairs leading to the Head of Household room. There are various palm trees around the kitchen ceiling and the balcony at the Head of Household bedroom. The house included four bedrooms each varying in design and comfort. The Head of Household bedroom featured blue, purple, and white colors while the second bedroom was designed to be given the appearance of sunset. The third room initially used by the HouseGuests was later turned into the Have-Not room, which featured various bugs in jars with lawn chairs used as beds.