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Everything You Need To Know About Your Next Reality Obsession, Love Island

What’s a sizzling summer without a little scorching romance? Especially when it involves a group of carefree millennials soaking in the sun while trying to find their soulmates? That’s the entry point to CTV’s hot new reality series, Love Island.

Based on the British smash hit reality sensation of the same name, this marks the first North American version of Love Island. It first debuted in the U.K., where Series 4 of the show became British network ITV2’s most popular series ever last year. The Love Island format has delivered record-breaking audiences overseas, growing into one of television’s hottest unscripted series and becoming an international sensation.
We’re already counting down the days until the premiere this summer, but in the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about what we’re sure will be your next reality obsession. We're making a few assumtions based on the British series, so full details for this version are still TBC.

So, tell me more about the plot

Think of what would happen if Big Brother and The Bachelor had a love child and sent it to live with its aunt on Survivor. That’s the best way to describe Love Island. To dig a little deeper, a group of contestants known as Islanders live in a gorgeous location away from the rest of society, where they’re under constant video surveillance. Each Islander needs to couple up with another contestant based on their overall first impressions, otherwise they risk being kicked off the island. But there are twists—plenty and plenty of twists.


What kind of twists?

First of all, couples don’t need to be romantically linked. They can be friends or alliances, too. But obviously after a while as the Islanders get to know one another they develop feelings, which is why throughout the series they’re also asked to recouple. People can stay together or ditch their partner for someone else, but the big risk is always winding up alone and being kicked out.


I’m listening

On top of the Islanders that we meet at the outset, new contestants are also spontaneously introduced. It keeps the Islanders on their toes for sure. Luckily, they’re allowed to communicate with one another—and only one another—via mobile phone. Actually, their phone is also how they get the majority of their news in terms of who’s together, who has called it quits, and what challenges or twists may be coming down the pike.

Seems like a lot to keep track of

Oh, but we haven’t even told you the best part: the public also gets to vote and weigh in on these couples online or through an app, which means we’re just as invested. Each week the couples that receive the least votes from viewers also risk being eliminated, which is even more incentive for them to couple up wisely. Then, during the final week of the series the audience gets to vote on which twosome they think should win the entire show, and by default a hefty cash prize.


What kind of a cash prize are we talking about here?

In the U.K. the winning couple got to take home a cool £50,000, or £25,000 each. The details on North America’s first version are still being released, so we don’t know who will host, what the cash prize will be, or even where filming is going down quite yet. We can tell you that in England the show is hosted by Caroline Flack, it films in the Spanish island of Mallorca, and it’s basically the most successful show that ITV has ever produced—it even won a BAFTA award. Bringing it here was a no-brainer.


What other countries have aired it?

Plenty, actually. Love Island Germany has already aired two seasons, while the Swedish and Australian versions are plotting second seasons. Versions of the show have also aired in Denmark, Finland, and Norway, while Hungary, Belgium and New Zealand all plan on airing versions this year. That’s a whole lot of Love.  


I’m so in! When can I watch it?

This multi-night dating competition series will anchor CTV’s 2019 summer schedule, expanding CTV’s can’t-miss roster of unscripted programs, including The Amazing Race Canada, American Ninja Warrior, MasterChef, Hollywood Game Night, $100,000 Pyramid, and more. The full broadcast schedule for Love Island along with the complete CTV summer lineup will be announced soon.