Sin­gles go to ‘Love Is­land’ in near-nightly CBS event

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On TV -

The mak­ers of “Love Is­land” are con­fi­dent they’ll have enough love to keep an au­di­ence hooked al­most ev­ery night for a month.

That’s the sched­ule CBS is giv­ing the Amer­i­can ver­sion of a real­ity se­ries that has been a huge hit in Eng­land and has ex­panded else­where in­clud­ing Aus­tralia and the Nether­lands. Start­ing its ev­ery-week­night U.S. run Tues­day, July 9, the pro­gram takes a group of sin­gles to Fiji, where each must part­ner with some­one or risk be­ing booted. The pro­cess will be in­ter­ac­tive for view­ers, who can help steer the win­ning cou­ple to­ward a cash prize. Ac­tress-co­me­dian Arielle Van­den­berg hosts.

“The show works best when you make it an event,” rea­sons ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer David Eilen­berg, the chief cre­ative of­fi­cer of orig­i­nat­ing stu­dio ITV En­ter­tain­ment, “so we’re be­yond ex­cited that CBS has seen the virtues of programmin­g the show that way.” Eilen­berg notes that the U.K.’s “Love Is­land” cur­rently is run­ning ev­ery night of the week, “six nights of orig­i­nal episodes and then a re­cap show.”

While the se­ries is a sta­ple of Bri­tish tele­vi­sion, Eilen­berg ex­plains its sim­i­lar fre­quency of air­ings in Amer­ica is jus­ti­fied “be­cause of the way the show is pro­duced,” with only a day or two be­tween what hap­pens and when view­ers will see it. “So much story is be­ing gen­er­ated, you don’t want to pause in real time. The more episodes you have per week, the bet­ter, be­cause it re­flects what’s ac­tu­ally hap­pen­ing in­side the villa.”

De­spite the bounty of real­ity dat­ing shows, Eilen­berg be­lieves “Love Is­land” has “a few critical dif­fer­ences. The un­pre­dictabil­ity of the format has been im­por­tant; it’s not quite as reg­i­mented in terms of what takes place in any given episode, and that makes the au­di­ence feel like they re­ally need to watch the show. And it re­ally feels like a ro­man­tic com­edy more than a ro­man­tic drama, which has been the hall­mark of pre­vi­ous shows in the genre.

“And there’s an el­e­ment of roota­bil­ity for all of the con­tes­tants,” adds Eilen­berg. “De­spite their quirks and im­per­fec­tions, you want them all to find their way to love. And they root for each other, too.”

“Love Is­land”

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