Love Island US is due to launch next month – and producers have promised viewers who have been clamouring for more diversity in the UK version an absolute treat.
The American take on ITV2’s smash dating show will have more sexy games when it launches from a villa in the tropical South Pacific country of Fiji – some 11,000 miles away from the current batch of UK Islanders who are sunning themselves in Majorca.
Executive producer David Eilenberg has promised to make the US show just as much of a summer phenomenon as its British namesake, promising American audiences that it’ll be like “the World Cup of reality TV” when it airs five nights a week from July 9 on CBS.
“There’s going to be a mix [of games] just as there is on the UK show,” he told Entertainment Weekly .
“There are games that are meant to bond, games that are meant to spark attraction, and games that are just hilarious. The US Islanders have seen the UK show, for the most part. They know what they’re walking into and are excited to do it.”
However, while the original show is known for its raunchy bed-swapping, Islanders openly talking about Doing Bits, and eye-poppingly provocative challenges, the US version will have to tread carefully around its more conservative viewers.
“We have to conform to broadcast standards, so what happens with language and — to some extent — what we see visually will be a little different because of the platform we’re on,” the producer went on.
He also opened up about the possibility of having bi and gay contestants going into the villa to shake things up, following years-long criticism of ITV’s predominantly straight casting.
“We’re open to seeing how the show can evolve over time, and I think when you see the US show that there’s been real thought put into the diversity of our casting,” said Eilenberg.
Overall, the US show will focus on relationships – both romantic and platonic.
“Having produced in this genre for a long time is, as you know, one of the reality show tropes is, ‘I’m not here to make friends’. But one of the lovely things about Love Island is they’re also there to make friends,” he added.
“You can see it in the show as they’re all rooting for each other. And even though the road is windy toward finding a connection, there is a sense that anybody could win if they found the right match. It’s really sweet.”
*Love Island US premieres on July 9 on CBS and airs Monday to Friday each week until the final on August 7