Temptation Island is returning to U.S. television. The controversial series aired on Fox from 2001-2003 and entailed couples agreeing to live with several singles of the opposite sex in order to test their relationships. No networks have been specifically announced.
Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti announced the revival during the Reelscreen West 2018 confab keynote in Santa Monica today. Earlier in March, it was announced a new 10-episode reboot of Wife Swap was going forward on CMT.
Hosted by Mark L. Walberg, Temptation Island from the onset stirred up controversy, which Fox hoped would drive ratings. Four guy contestants lived in one section with a dozen female models, and the four female contestants lived in another section with a dozen attractive men. Of the initial couples in 2001, Ytossie Patterson and Taheed Watson were removed from the series when the producers learned that the pair had children together.
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In addition today, Banijay Group and Twitter confirmed that they are entering a global collaboration to monetize Banijay Group content and drive effective brand engagement efforts on the platform. The deal, which acts as one of the global distribution collaborations Twitter closed recently with production companies, will see the organizations work with brands worldwide to develop lucrative co-branded advertising efforts.
Bassetti told interviewer Jonathan Murray, co-founder of Bunim-Murray Productions (which Banijay owns), “They can use our content in their platform, and we share value with them,” while Twitter will have access to “old and new (reality) content.”
Wife Swap ran on ABC from 2004-2010 narrated by actor John Schwab and revolved around the concept of two different families from two different backgrounds/classes switching significant others to mettle in family affairs. There was also a Celebrity Wife Swap, which lasted four seasons after its 2012 debut.
Bassetti mentioned this morning that while Europe used to be the great provider of reality formats such as Big Brother to the U.S., scripted formats are becoming increasingly more prevalent with series such as Versailles and La Casa de Papel in regards to being exporting around the world.
The Banijay boss also commented on the risks and opportunities that lie ahead in the marketplace. “To defend the IP, to keep the IP is a key point for our industry,” he said.
Bassetti also cited consolidation. “The more you stay in a competitive arena, the more you have a chance to sell product. But on the other side, there’s a lot of opportunity. First of all, there’s a strong need for new shows, you have new players…there will be more space for unscripted, then for scripted; too expensive, too risky.”
Murray concurred, “I know Fox has talked about that when they lose their studio, they’ll focus mostly on event and unscripted.”
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