ITV Fills ‘Love Island’ Void With ‘Love Island: Australia’; BBC Acquires Australian Drama ‘The Heights’

Jake Kanter

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ITV’s youth channel ITV2 is going to fill the huge Love Island-shaped gap in its schedule by showing the Australian version of the reality show.

Love Island: Australia will premiere later this month after the ITV Studios format aired on Nine Network in Oz last year. It follows ITV having to cancel the summer season of Love Island due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Australian version is filmed at Love Island‘s villa in Mallorca and is hosted by Sophie Monk and narrated by Eoghan McDermott. It features singletons trying to secure a love match to win a $50,000 AUS ($34,000) cash prize.

The 2019 summer season of Love Island premiered on ITV2 on June 3, meaning that the 2020 version would likely have launched this week had it gone ahead. In the end, filming during the COVID-19 outbreak proved too complicated.

In other Australian TV news, BBC One has acquired ABC’s serial drama The Heights for its daytime schedule. The drama will launch on June 15 and is produced by NBCUniversal International Studios’ Matchbox Pictures in association with For Pete’s Sake Productions.

The Heights centers on an urban community in Arcadia Heights trying to protect its way of life against the backdrop of gentrification. “This slice of life from the melting pot that is urban Australia is loaded with humor and drama and quickly draws you into the very diverse lives of its characters,” said BBC head of daytime Carla-Maria Lawson. The series was acquired by Sue Deeks.

The Heights was created by showrunner Warren Clarke alongside Que Minh Luu. It is produced by Peta Astbury-Bulsara and executive produced by Debbie Lee for Matchbox Pictures, and Sally Riley and Que Minh Luu for ABC.

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