The renewal announced today follows strong ratings for the contemporary version of the classic 1977-84 series, from writer-producers Liz Craft and Sarah Fain. This past summer, the reboot starring Roselyn Sanchez and Kiara Barnes ranked as the No. 1 new scripted program among adults 18-49 and was Fox’s most streamed new drama series since 9-1-1: Lone Star in January 2020.
Fantasy Island takes place at a luxury resort, where literally any fantasy requested by guests is fulfilled, although they rarely turn out as expected. Delving into the “what if” questions — both big and small — that keep us awake at night, each episode will tell emotional, provocative stories about people who arrive with dreams and desires.
The series stars Sanchez as Elena Roarke, a descendant of the iconic Mr. Roarke, who set aside her own ambitions, and the love of her life, to uphold her family’s legacy. Barnes plays Ruby Akuda, a young woman with an old soul who arrived on Fantasy Island with a terminal illness and was given a new lease on life as Roarke’s right hand.
Fans won’t have to wait until next summer for more Fantasy Island, however. Fox has ordered a special two-hour holiday episode, “Welcome to the Snow Globe,” which will air at 8 p.m. Tuesday, December 21. Lindsay Craft, Eddie Cahill and Mackenzie Astin will guest star. In the episode, a businesswoman’s (Craft) fantasy of a perfect Christmas and meeting “Mr. Right” (Cahill) tests Roarke in unexpected ways. Meanwhile, Mr. Jones (Astin) faces his past, while a new Secret Santa tradition has Ruby and Javier (John Gabriel Rodriguez) looking to the future.
Fox has been a fan of the drama since its premiere, and the renewal is not unexpected. In an interview with Deadline in September, Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn described Fantasy Island as its “first real, recent attempt at a cost effective” drama series.
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Fantasy Island hails from Sony Pictures Television, Gemstone Studios and Fox Entertainment.
“We’re really high on it, and it’s been exciting for us to cross-pollinate some of the stars that we have in other series and do other exciting turns on Fantasy Island,” said Thorn. “We definitely see a potential second season and it’s something that we’re talking about now. We’re very pleased with the show and Liz and Sarah did a very good job,” he said at the time.
Said Thorn: “Thanks to the fantastic Roselyn Sanchez and charming Kiara Barnes and the captivating stories that tapped into the core tenets of emotion and aspiration, Fantasy Island was the perfect wish fulfillment and escape we all needed this summer. Liz Craft, Sarah Fain and everyone at Sony and Gemstone did an excellent job on this series and, like all good things, it left us wanting more. We’re so happy to have Elena Roarke, Ruby Akuda and everyone on Fantasy Island open their world again for a brief visit this winter and for a longer stay next year.”
Added Marie Jacobson, EVP of Gemstone Studios: “We are thrilled to be back for a Season 2,” sLiz, Sarah, Roselyn and the whole Fantasy Island family reimagined this storied IP and gave it just the modern female flair it needed to resonate with audiences around the world. We’re so proud of the show and grateful for our stellar partners at Fox.”