Tonight on CBS, we’re seeing one of the biggest gambles in recent television history with the premiere of Love Island. This show is a runaway hit in Great Britain, and a frequent worldwide trending topic on Twitter every single time that it’s on the air.
It’s not hard to figure out why a network would want this show — it’s buzzy, creates headlines, and may generate a lot of younger viewers. The latter is something that CBS especially needs given the perception that it’s more about older viewers and what they bring to the table.
Yet, we also still wonder whether this is the right network for it. Love Island in the UK thrives on being edgy and while we’re sure the US version will try and replicate that, this is still a series airing on CBS during that 8:00 p.m. “family hour.” It’s also just not a fit with those aforementioned older viewers. While we’re intrigued by the show, the vast majority of the feedback we’ve gotten from readers/viewers on our CarterMatt YouTube channel (be sure to subscribe if you haven’t!) is that they’re frustrated with what they feel is a relentless promotional campaign for the show. It makes sense for CBS to do that — they’re airing this show five days’ a week and want to get their money’s worth. Still, there are a lot of people who aren’t fond of the official account for Criminal Minds pushing the most anti-Criminal Minds show ever (and as big fans of Criminal Minds ourselves we aren’t that thrilled to see their account being used for this either).
If there’s one word that CBS needs to exemplify over the next week or two, it’s this: Patience. There’s a lot of blowback already on Love Island just because of the intense promotion and the idea of another reality show coming on in the summer. Yet, we remember a time when there was a ton of blowback about Big Brother, another international concept that the network turned into a massive hit. Not all of the kinks may be worked out of Love Island right away and there may be fluctuations in viewership. What they need is for there to be some iconic moments that get people hooked on the show in the first month or so, and for CBS to not give up if it’s struggling in the ratings at first.
The one major cause for concern is this: The Bachelor franchise has a borderline monopoly on network TV dating shows. Differentiating Love Island from Bachelor in Paradise could be tough, especially since going into Bachelor in Paradise, everyone knows the majority of contestants going into it and are already invested.
Do you think the new Love Island will be a ratings hit?
Be sure to share in the comments below and check back soon for some other news. (Photo: CBS.)