CBS announces a brand-new dating series, The Real Love Boat, to air in the summer of 2022. This follows Love Island USA being dropped by the network.
After giving up on the Love Island USA franchise, CBS is now launching a brand-new dating show to air during the summer of 2022: The Real Love Boat. In 2019, CBS picked up the rights to adapt the highly-successful dating series Love Island in the US. The inaugural season of the American edition was poorly received by critics and fans, but Love Island USA season 2 took reality TV viewers by storm with exciting cast members and compelling love stories.
In 2020, CBS went on to produce season 2 in a Las Vegas hotel due to rising concerns with the pandemic. Season 3 then aired as scheduled in the summer of 2021, with a premiere date that was paired up with the premiere of Big Brother 23. Alas, after three seasons, it seems like the results CBS got from Love Island USA just weren’t enough for the network. In February 2022, it was announced that CBS dropped the show, whereas NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock picked up Love Island USA season 4.
On Tuesday, March 22, CBS announced that it’ll adapt the 1970s/1980s hit series The Love Boat into a dating competition called The Real Love Boat. This means that the summer programming on CBS will still include an exciting dating series to compete with the likes of ABC’s The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise, as well as Peacock’s Love Island USA, among others. According to a CBS press release, this new series will “bring singles together to cruise the Mediterranean on a luxury cruise ship while looking for love.” Meanwhile, The Real Love Boat is also expected to feature “destination dates, challenges, and surprise singles [who] will test the couples’ compatibility and chemistry.”
This dating competition is obviously inspired by The Love Boat, the hit romantic-comedy series that aired on ABC – but was produced by CBS – from 1977 to 1986. Now, the concept, tone, and themes of the scripted series will be integrated into this brand-new reality show. “After almost a month at sea, only one winning couple will make it to the final port and take home a cash prize plus a once-in-a-lifetime trip courtesy of Princess Cruises,” the release added. In hindsight, it seems like CBS is still trying to find its hit summer dating show but preferred to invest in an original format than to renew franchising rights from Love Island.
Meanwhile, ITV’s original British edition of Love Island arguably remains one of the most successful reality shows in the UK, with season 8 already slated for summer 2022. CBS now hopes to bring back the audience it had gained with Love Island USA to watch The Real Love Boat this summer. In turn, Peacock will invest a lot in Love Island USA seasons 4 and 5 considering that the streamer has already committed to producing both seasons.
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