With 22 international iterations of “Love Island” taking the lead from the franchise’s flagship British series, “Love Island USA” producer ITV Entertainment wanted to capitalize on the series’ crossover potential for American audiences in its latest spin-off, “Love Island Games.” ” to use.
“We knew we had a diverse audience in America,” Simon Thomas, president of ITV Entertainment and EP of “Love Island Games,” told TheWrap, referencing the move of “Love Island USA” from CBS to Peacock. “There didn’t seem to be much of a crossover because there were a lot of American fans who had just discovered the American show and didn’t know or care about the British show – and then there are hardcore American fans of the British show. “ and the Australian show.”
ITV Entertainment, one of ITV America’s six production labels, took the same fan-centric approach that the franchise took in its six-day release schedule, looking for an “authentic way to cater to each and every one of those people.” at once.”
“We asked ourselves, ‘How can we please everyone?’, which of course is the most impossible thing in the world. We will never please everyone. But we knew what we wanted – we were fans [and] We look at all the different versions. So we just gave it a try,” Thomas said.
Now streaming on Peacock, Love Island Games welcomes former islanders from across the franchise – including the US, UK, Australia and France – to take part in a summer of romance. But this time, challenges dictate “everything,” from who the islanders mate with to whether they stay in the villa.
When Love Island USA recently moved from CBS, producers thought back to the network’s strategy-based competition shows and began adapting how the series could retain its magic while incorporating a new element.
“If ‘Love Island’ is a classic British format, but it’s been translated really well, how do we bring in what we would call a classic American competitive feel without ruining what makes ‘Love Island’ ‘Love Island’ does?” Thomas posed.
Instead of relying on the games to draw in viewers, the EPs hoped to play with the idea of strategy in the new spin-off series, taking the fan voice away from the original series. With that element removed, the Islanders were encouraged to be more openly strategic in their partnership in hopes of taking home the $100,000 prize.
“When we first started doing the show, we were nervous that they were going to come in and focus on it too much – when we replayed the game, we weren’t 100% sure we’d done it right,” Thomas said . “We were afraid that they would come in and not want to play it for love.”
When the Islanders arrived at the villa, the “for love or money” question instead sparked a handful of initial conversations as the contestants explored potential partnerships.
“Some of them had won, shared the money with others and then split up. So coming into that environment was a whole different kind of money game for them,” Thomas said. “The challenges became the means that drove the human drama in ‘games’ and not only [wanting] to see more challenges in “games.”
While the ethos of bringing together former islanders is similar to Love Island All Stars, this was the case confirmed The idea for “Games” came about in early 2024 through ITV Studio’s Lifted Entertainment and GroupM Motion Entertainment. The idea for Games came about “independently” as ITV Entertainment and Lifted operate as two different production groups, although both are owned by ITV Studios.
Thomas said the companies “all have slightly different desires”, pointing to Lifted’s recent strategy of producing two seasons of Love Island in one year. “We knew that if we were going to do this here, we wanted to do it a little differently, just because of the nature of the market.”
With participants from all over the world, Thomas noted that some islanders may recognize the international fame of their counterparts, while others may not even have access to a specific country’s iteration.
“You worry about that dynamic, and honestly it didn’t matter,” Thomas said, pointing to a recent premiere event where the multinational group of friends reunited and celebrated together. “We were nervous, but it couldn’t have gone better.”
Love Island Games is streaming on Peacock.