Movie Reviews

Love Island USA: 10 Things You Need To Know About The 4th Season

The hugely popular reality TV dating competition Love Island dominates tabloid headlines and social media discussion in the U.K. every year. Inevitably, the hit series spawned international versions around the globe, with the American iteration having premiered in 2019 and about to launch its fourth season for summer 2022.

Love Island USA hasn’t been the pop-culture-defining hit in the States that the original is in the U.K. Instead, it’s developed a cult audience at best. Partly as a result of its limited success, the American series is undergoing a major overhaul for its fourth season, changing in several ways that should please devoted fans of the franchise.

For three seasons after its 2019 debut, Love Island USA aired on CBS, which heavily promoted the show’s presence not only on the broadcast network itself but also on its streaming platform, Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access).

Related: The 10 Best Love Island Challenges, Ranked

That all changed this year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS “broached scaling back the number of hours in a fourth season of Love Island” in discussions with the show’s producer, ITV. THR’s sources indicated that CBS’ desire to make less Love Island is what prompted ITV to shop the show around for a new home.

ITV found its new home for Love Island USA in Peacock, NBC’s streaming platform. In February, Peacock acquired the rights to Love Island USA for two seasons after outbidding other networks in what the platform’s announcement described as a “highly competitive situation.”

“This really is an unprecedented deal for an unscripted brand,” said ITV America CEO David George in a press release. “Peacock and NBCU are the perfect home for Love Island.”

The unseen narrator is an essential part of what makes each version of Love Island so delicious as they comment, critique and gleefully mock the proceedings and the islanders themselves. Love Island USA had a terrific narrator in Matthew Hoffman, who arguably is one of the reasons why Love Island USA is better than the U.K. original.

Not anymore, though. The move from CBS to Peacock is far from the only change in store for Love Island USA. ITV has decided the series refresh means a replacement will take the narration reins from Hoffman for the fourth season.

Viewers who liked Matthew Hoffman’s narration may be disappointed about his dismissal from Love Island USA. However, devotees of the franchise should be pleased to learn that his replacement will be none other than Iain Sterling, the Scottish comedian famous for narrating the original U.K. version of the show.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About Love Island Narrator Iain Stirling

Said Jenny Groom, EVP of entertainment unscripted content at NBCUniversal, “The moment the decision was made to bring an all-new version of Love Island to Peacock, we knew we had to get Iain on board.” This will be the first time Sterling narrates a version of Love Island other than the original.

A Love Island host is only an occasional presence on the show, usually appearing to announce major turns and twists in the game and to escort dumped islanders on their way out the door. Just as Matthew Hoffman was Love Island USA‘s narrator for all of its first three seasons, Arielle Vandenberg has been the series’ host from the start.

Also like Hoffman, model and actress Vandenberg will not be reprising her Love Island USA role when the show relaunches on Peacock this summer. Instead, a new host will be popping in and out of the villa to terrify the islanders.

When ITV announced that Iain Sterling was set to replace Matthew Hoffman, speculation ran high that the announcement of a new host would soon follow. On June 30, that announcement arrived.

The new host of Love Island USA will be Sarah Hyland, the actress best known for her role as the ever-quotable Haley Dunphy on Modern Family. Hyland posted about her new gig on Instagram, writing, “I got a text!!!! And it’s a juicy one! I can’t wait to be your new host of @loveislandusa 😍.”

The original, British version of Love Island filmed five consecutive seasons in the same location, a sprawling villa on the Spanish island of Mallorca. In 2022, the series moved its production to a new villa, but the new digs are still is Mallorca.

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Life In The Love Island Villa

By contrast, Love Island USA has filmed in a different location every season, first in Fiji, then on top of a Las Vegas casino hotel (due to COVID-19 restrictions), then in Hawaii. The fourth season’s villa is located “somewhere on the California coast,” according to People.

Any season of Love Island presents viewers with a formidable amount of content to consume, producing a new episode every day or almost every day of the week. Still, Love Island USA has always been shorter than its British parent, airing for fewer weeks.

A longer season is one of the reasons why the original Love Island is better than Love Island USA, but now that the American series is moving to Peacock, it’s catching up. At 40 episodes, the fourth season will still be shorter than the U.K. series’ roughly 60-episode seasons, but it will be longer than any previous American season.

CBS never felt like the ideal home for Love Island USA. Family-friendly sitcom Young Sheldon made for a jarring lead-in to the reality show about 20-somethings in tiny bathing suits macking on each other, but that was nothing compared to the discordant armada of ads for prescription medications and adult diapers that aired during commercial breaks.

Worse, network standards meant the American Love Island was a neutered version of the racy original, limiting its steamier content to exclusive extras on Paramount+. Moving to Peacock means the entire show can now run uncensored, or at least less censored. In a press release, the streamer promised “naughtier games and sexier challenges.”

Along with announcing Sarah Hyland as the show’s new host on June 30, Peacock also released the official trailer for Love Island USA‘s fourth season in a major push to juice buzz for the premiere a few weeks later.

The revamped version of Love Island USA will premiere on Tuesday, July 19, 2022. It will be available exclusively streaming on Peacock, so those planning to watch it will need an active subscription to the service.

Next: Which Couples From Love Island USA’s 3rd Season Are Together, And Which Broke Up?

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