‘Love Island’ Reality Series Snatched Up by CBS

Joann Johnston
August 12, 2018

ITV Entertainment, who is part of the group that makes the British series, will produce the American version for CBS.

Essentially, Love Island is American Idol meets The Bachelor, and it's exactly the kind of trashy, flirty fun that we're all desperately craving in 2018. The season four finale aired last week to a record overnight audience, ranking as the most-watched program ever on the U.K.'s ITV2 network, with nearly half of all adult viewers under 34 tuning in throughout the series. ITV2 airs Love Island six nights a week. ITV has already sold global versions to multiple countries, and per multiple accounts, the company had sold a version of the show to MTV a year or two ago, but the deal got scrapped in the wake of executive shake-ups at MTV and parent company Viacom.

The modern version of the Love Island format is based on a show that first aired on United Kingdom commercial broadcaster ITV in 2005, with 12 single celebrities spending a week together on an island in Fiji. The U.K.'s version, which has been especially popular with audiences 34 years and younger, took place in Mallorca, Spain.

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"Love Island" is produced by ITV Entertainment, an ITV America company.

"Love Island has been a massive success overseas", Sharon Vuong, senior vice president of alternative programming at CBS, told The Hollywood Reporter. Plenty of United Kingdom smash hits - from The X-Factor to I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here - have been lost in translation when USA networks tried to duplicate them.

While we're sure that there will be differences between the U.S. and United Kingdom formats (there certainly is with Big Brother) the objective here is likely still going to be the same: Deliver a largely unstructured, story-based reality series that features a lot of drama and potentially a cash prize at the end. In the case of Brother, it did require extra time and booting the United Kingdom production team to find a formula that clicked with American audiences. Still, in both cases, it worked: The two shows are among the longest-running shows on American prime-time TV, with both now in their 18th year of production.

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