The American version of the hit British dating series “Love Island” premieres on CBS at 8 p.m. tonight with a 90-minute episode with a new hourlong episode airing every weeknight at 8 p.m. through Aug. 7.
On “Love Island,” singles come to a villa in Fiji seeking a partner. Contestants, dubbed “Islanders,” form alliances and begin relationships.
Every few days the Islanders must couple-up, with those failing to find a partner risking being dumped from the island.
New Islanders arrive during the series. Viewers have the opportunity to shape events on screen as they watch the relationships develop, and ultimately choose one couple as the winners who receive a cash prize.
“As a format, `Love Island’ breaks the mold with high levels of viewer interactivity and participation that influence the content of the show in a way that’s extremely addictive,” said David George, CEO, ITV America, parent company of the show’s producer, ITV Entertainment.
“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.”
There are four Los Angeles residents among the initial 11 Islanders.
Caroline “Caro” Viehweg is a 21-year-old marketing student who has lived in six nations on four continents, speaks German and Portuguese and said her ideal partner is “someone who is hardworking, spiritual, loving, friendly, funny, and authentic.”
Kyra Green is a 22-year-old musician who develops the melodies for the soul pop band 212 Green, which appeared on the 2013 season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” She said she is looking for that special somebody with an artistic vibe.
Yamen Sanders is a 24-year-old real estate agent whose friends describe him as the life of the party and the best person to get advice from. The Culver City High School graduate was a two-season starting safety at the University of Montana after beginning his college career at Arizona.
Alexandra Stewart is a 25-year-old publicist looking for someone romantic, compassionate and supportive with bonus points if he’s tall. Her favorite things include white wine, smelly cheeses, and singing Taylor Swift ballads.
Actress and comedian Arielle Vandenberg is the host.
“Watching `Love Island’ is like watching your favorite romantic comedy five nights a week with your best friends and Arielle would be the friend bringing the popcorn,” said Sharon Vuong, CBS Entertainment’s senior vice president, alternative programming.
The villa the Islanders live in has more than one mile of neon lights intended to create a romantic glow, seven custom-designed neon signs lighting up its walls, more than 6,000 individually screen-printed tiles on its floors and walls and more than 3,000 locally sourced Fijian plants in its gardens.
“Love Island” was originally “Celebrity Love Island,” airing on Britain’s ITV network in the summer of 2005. A second season aired in the summer of 2006, with celebrity dropped from the title as some Islanders were not considered celebrities. Basketball Hall of Fame member Dennis Rodman was a “house guest,” staying for four days before quitting.
A non-celebrity version began in 2015. Its ratings success, particularly among viewers ages 16-34, spawned versions airing in 10 other European nations, Australia and New Zealand. Its July 8, 2018, episode was the most-watched program in the history of the ITV2 network, which began broadcasting in 1998.
Vuong called it “the buzziest reality show in the U.K.”
Smoking by contestants prompted a debate in the House of Lords in 2017 over strengthening regulations about smoking on reality television series, particularly those aimed at young people. Producers decided not to show contestants smoking in the “Love Island” 2018 season.
Behavior by a male contestant in 2018 prompted the British anti-domestic abuse organization Women’s Aid to call on viewers to speak out against all forms of domestic abuse.
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