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Love Island US details emerge as ITV’s War of the Worlds sells globally

US broadcaster CBS is expected to stay loyal to ITV Studios’ hit format Love Island, which is intended to lead a brand refresh for the network when it launches in summer 2019. 

The format was highlighted by ITV Studios in Cannes on Monday (15 October) as it held court in its container-built stand outside the Grand Palais, with ITV Studios boss Maria Kyriacou highlighting top titles from its roster of production businesses.

ITV America president David George told delegates that CBS execs know the program “inside out”, but kept details around the location and specific episode run of the American installment under wraps.

Love Island wrapped its fourth season in the UK this year, shattering viewership records for ITV2. In August, the format – which is stripped across eight weeks in the UK and is filmed in Mallorca – officially crossed the pond, with US broadcaster CBS handing a series order to ITV Entertainment.

TBI understands that the format was originally placed with US cable channel MTV around 18 months ago, but the Viacom-owned network backed out over hesitations around launching a format for which they did not own the IP.

While US execs have been keen to observe the format’s trajectory and long-term health in the UK, Love Island is difficult to get away Stateside: while cable channels have the time slots for the show, they don’t necessarily have the massive budgets needed to get it away.

Meanwhile, the networks have the commissioning dollars but lack the “inventory” for the program.

The show’s run on secondary channel ITV2 – and not the main ITV network- was also initially a concern. However, the show’s ground-breaking performance in the UK this year helped to assuage fears about its performance on a major network.

It is believed that Love Island is intended to bring a youth demographic to CBS, which generally draws an older audience with long-running formats such as Survivor and Big Brother.

Given its experience with the latter reality show, which airs on multiple nights a week in the US, it is best placed to launch a stripped format such as Love Island.

The network is understood to be using its version of Love Island as part of a major refresh for the brand.

War of the Worlds sales

Elsewhere, alien thriller War Of The Worlds has pre-sold into 80 territories including France, Spain and Australia.

The 3 x 60-minute adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel is co-produced by ITV Studios-owned producer Mammoth Screen and Creasun Media in association with Red Square, and has pre-sold into TF1 (France), Movistar+ (Spain), LaF via Sky Italy, Channel 1 (Russia), RUV (Iceland), YLE (Finland), Epic Drama (key territories in CEE), Foxtel (Australia), TVNZ (New Zealand) and Blue Ant Media (Canada) and M-Net (Africa).

Set in Edwardian England, it follows a British town that is struck by a huge meteor, after which the inhabitants of Earth slowly fall victim to a vicious alien invasion.