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Love Island is a popular -- and graphic -- series in the U.K., but on this side of the pond, it has struggled in the ratings some. However, it’s apparently eked by with enough viewers to land a Season 2 renewal, as CBS announced today the show will be making a comeback next TV season.
CBS confirmed the news, noting the show will return “back to the island” in 2020. The reality series will remain a summer program next time around, so if there are other reality competition shows you watch during the fall and spring, Love Island won’t compete with those.
What’s most interesting about this renewal is that Love Island hasn’t been a major ratings winner for the Eye Network during its first season. Monday’s episode of Love Island only did a little over 2 million total viewers and a .4 rating in the 18-49 demographic. Juxtapose that with ABC’s The Bachelorette, which aired the same evening and did 7.2 million total viewers and a 1.9 rating, and you’ll see what I mean when I say it’s not a winner.
In an announcement, CBS says Love Island skews female and toward a younger demographic, which is a little unusual for a CBS series—a point CBS head Kelly Kahl straight up acknowledged on the Television Critics Association press tour today. That could be one reason the show is coming back for another round despite not popping so hotly on the ratings charts. The network also mentioned the U.K. run of the show and how it has grown more popular over time. According to Senior Executive VP Thom Sherman,
After its first season, the U.K. version exploded via word of mouth and social media to become a huge hit, and its viewership has grown every year. We believe first season U.S. fans are just as passionate and engaged and we look forward to building on that foundation with another fun season next summer.
Speaking at a TCA event CinemaBlend attended, President of Entertainment Kelly Kahl does mention that says that “nothing is off the table” in regards to how many days a week Love Island might actually run moving forward, as journalists note the show airs most days during the week for its U.K. run. Here, the first season of Love Island is expected to air through next week.
Kelly Kahl also mentioned that the show’s social aspect is another reason to bring the series back for Season 2.
The audience is kind of learning how to play along with the show. It’s a social show. People love to tweet, put gifs and memes up. They learn to use the apps and see what’s coming up the next day with the first looks. We expect that to continue.
Per Kelly Kahl at TCA, Love Island is a “really fun, well-executed show” and CBS can’t wait to sign on with ITV for another go. Look, at the end of the day, ratings are falling on regular television across the board. Reality TV is still cheap to produce and it looks like CBS is banking on this core audience and the buzz surrounding the TV show to keep things moving into Season 2. If the show is still low-rated after next season, perhaps it will be time to call it quits, but it seems that we are not there yet.
So, if you like Love Island, you can wrap up this season knowing there will be more to come during the 2019-2020 TV season. To see what’s coming this fall, however, take a look at our full TV schedule.