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Love Island is a massive hit in the U.K. But the new U.S. version on CBS? Crickets. I'm watching, but it's clear the fan base is small. Also, ratings are pretty sad for summer reality TV on a network as big as CBS.
You wanna know why I think Love Island USA isn't connecting with too many viewers? So far, it's pretty boring. There hasn't been enough drama to fill five nights a week.
You wanna know why Hannah Brown's The Bachelorette 2019 keeps rising in the ratings for ABC? It's definitely not boring.
CBS has given a huge commitment to Love Island, airing it across all five weekdays at 8 p.m., before Big Brother on Wednesday and Thursday. It's a huge production commitment, but unfortunately the drama on screen isn't that compelling, and even the islanders themselves look bored a lot of the time.
Love Island's ratings problems started right out of the gate. The Tuesday, July 9 premiere at 8 p.m. had 2.61 million viewers and a 0.6 rating. That episode was followed at 9 p.m. by Big Brother, which had 4.05 million viewers and a 1.0 rating. So it looks like a lot of Big Brother viewers just waited until Love Island was over to tune in, despite the heavy promotion for Love Island during previous episodes of Big Brother.
Love Island's initial 0.6 rating held for the next two episodes, even as it slipped slightly in viewers. The July 10 Episode 2 had 2.59 million viewers with 2.51 million reported on July 11, per TV By the Numbers figures. On Friday, July 12, Love Island slipped to 2.03 million viewers and a 0.4 rating. The Monday, July 15 episode had 1.98 million viewers and a 0.5 rating.
That July 15 episode of Love Island aired opposite The Bachelorette Season 15's overnight dates episode, with Hannah calling out Luke Parker. That episode got 6.46 million viewers with a 1.7 rating, easily topping the night.
The slight good news for Love Island is that the Tuesday, July 16 episode ticked up a bit with 2.33 million viewers and kept Monday's 0.5 rating. Also, two new ladies just entered the house in Tuesday's episode, with tonight's Wednesday, July 17 episode meant to also include Big Brother 20's Winston, who is randomly joining the cast. (Bring in Brett, and then we can talk.)
That fresh blood may help boost Love Island's ratings, since the drama for the past few days has been fairly stale.
Bringing consistent drama is something Bachelor Nation is pretty good at, which is why Bachelor in Paradise has found its own summer niche. Bachelor In Paradise Season 5 aired last summer with 3.82 million viewers for the premiere and 4.55 million and a 1.2 rating for the finale.
Love Island USA has a lot of similarities to Bachelor in Paradise, but the Bachelor/Bachelorette spinoff usually airs twice a week and packs a lot of drama into each episode. That has not been the case with the five-nights-a-week Love Island so far. But maybe the drama will pick up, buzz will follow, and more viewers will catch up before the August 7 finale. The Love Island U.S. producers made some intentional changes from the controversial U.K. show, which was probably good for the Islanders but not so great for viewers.
Love Island airs five nights a week at 8 p.m. on CBS. Meanwhile, Big Brother 21 is airing Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The Bachelorette is winding down Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC, with a special Tuesday episode airing on July 30 for the second night of the "After the Final Rose." Bachelor in Paradise 2019 premieres Monday, August 5.