As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, local versions of “Temptation Island” are being readied with strict safety guidelines in place for broadcasters in the U.S., Spain, Germany, Holland and Finland.
The decision to press ahead with production of “Temptation Island” stands in stark contrast to ITV’s announcement earlier this month that it has canceled this year’s U.K. edition of “Love Island,” which was due to film in Mallorca, saying logistically it was impossible to do so.
Banijay Group’s senior VP for format acquisitions Carlotta Rossi Spencer tells Variety the “Temptation Island” format has been recommissioned for a second season in Spain after a January launch on Telecinco and Cuatro, where it averaged 2.7 million viewers throughout its 10-episode run.
Banijay is lining up a July shoot in the Dominican Republic for the Spanish version, which has already completed casting. A back-up plan to shoot in Spain is being put in place in case filming in the Dominican Republic cannot take place.
The cast and crew will be tested for COVID-19 and quarantined for two weeks before production starts in the Dominican Republic. Regular and regimented testing will also continue throughout production.
Additional safety measures will also be put in place, including regular disinfecting of working spaces. A dedicated health supervisor will also be attached to the production.
Finnish commercial channel Nelonen has also just greenlit an eighth season of “Temptation Island,” with production set to take place in two villas in Finland over the summer. Testing and quarantining of cast and crew will also be implemented before production starts in June or July.
Rossi Spencer said both the German and Dutch version will also film this summer, and that location details are currently being finalized.
The German version, which airs on RTL and its streamer Now TV, is set to shoot in July and August. The production team is currently exploring the right location for the shoot, which could possibly be in the Dominican Republic in the same location as the Spanish version. Another possibility would be a European location.
Safety measures for the German production include: plexiglass walls in vehicles and control room; daily fever measurements twice a day, as well as coronavirus tests in case of suspected cases; use of masks, gloves and distancing for crew; disinfection of working spaces and kit; and working in clusters to minimize risk of infection.
Banijay makes a V.I.P. version of “Temptation Island” for Videoland in Holland, and this shoot could also take place in the Dominican Republic or Europe.
The U.S. version of “Temptation Island,” which airs on USA Network, was set to start shooting season three in March in Maui, Hawaii, but was postponed as coronavirus started spreading around the world. The series has been already been cast and Banijay is hoping production will take place in Maui again this year, depending on travel restrictions easing. “It’s just a matter of knowing when they can go (into production),” says Rossi Spencer. If it is not possible to shoot in Maui, Banijay will explore other locations to ensure filming this year.
In Italy, Banijay is currently in negotiations about future seasons with Mediaset’s Canale 5, where it has aired since 2014.
The new seasons of “Temptation Island” being shot this summer will air from late 2020 onwards.
Each version of “Temptation Island” shoots for between 14-21 days. The cast comprises four couples and eight singletons, while the crew size averages around 50 — although this is likely to be scaled back this summer to make filming safer and more manageable.
Rossi Spencer says safety will be “the number one priority” as the format goes into production. She adds there is high demand among audiences for the return of familiar shows, beyond many of the quick turnaround programs that were greenlit as soon as lockdowns were implemented.
“Temptation Island” is pitched as “the ultimate test of faithfulness,” following dating couples at a pivotal time in their relationship, when they must decide if they are ready to commit, or go their separate ways. The couples travel to an island, where they join eligible men and women. There, they live the “single life” in a test that is meant to help answer their most difficult questions about their relationship. Banijay Rights also sells finished versions of the “Temptation Island” format.