Love Island is a show that’s become a big hit in the United Kingdom — garnering a cult following in America along the way — and now there’s about to be an American version. CBS has secured the rights to the show and will be bringing it stateside with ITG Entertainment, the same network that produced the original show.
The show just ended its fifth season on ITV2 last week, finishing strong to become the most-watched program in the channel’s history. So for newcomers, what is Love Island about? A group of (hot, young) contestants are sent to a tropical destination where they face the options of pairing up or being eliminated. The relationships range from practical partnerships to real romance, and viewers vote who stays and goes.
Sharon Vuong, senior vice president of CBS’s alternative programming division, spoke highly of the show, saying it made for “compelling sociological think pieces in major publications here and abroad.” However, it doesn’t seem Love Island will become more of a beacon of inclusiveness when it crosses over. The British show is so heteronormative, a New York Times op-ed speculated that it was trolling Britain. CBS says that the American version will replicate the British show.
“It’s a cultural phenomenon that builds anticipation with every episode and creates appointment viewing — a pretty hard thing to do in today’s TV landscape,” David George, chief executive for ITV America, told the Times.