Two CBS contests are back, taking up much of the network’s seasonal real estate

Big BrotherGlobalWednesday’s primetime lineup begins with the season-23 premiere of Big Brother—which sees host Julie Chen Moonves welcome new houseguests who will tackle challenges and strategize amongst themselves to be the last person standing when the $500,000 prize is awarded. Then, Love Island returns for season three, with host Arielle Vandenberg surveying what happens to romance seekers pursuing a $100,000 payout as the show relocates to the Hawaiian Islands.

Since events on Love Island (which was inspired by a wildly successful British format) occur only a matter of hours before an episode is broadcast, executive producer Ben Thursby attests, “What’s great about the show is that you never know what’s coming. Last year was obviously a challenge; this was one of the first shows to happen during the pandemic [staged in Las Vegas under strict protocols], and we’re feeling very positive about this season.”

“We plan a lot in advance,” adds fellow Love Island exec producer Jessica Castro, “but then, we roll with everything that’s happening in the villa and react to it. We did have a lot of stuff ready to go last year [when the plan was to return to Fiji], and we were able to pivot. It was a new challenge for us as TV producers.”

Big BrotherGlobalThursby appreciates the pairing of Love Island with Big Brother, noting that “they’re not new to the game, so it’s nice to be doing this with them.” Having started at the tail end of the summer in 2020 due to a COVID-19-prompted delay, Love Island is now back to being the “summer experience” it was always intended to be. As Thursby cites with delight: “We’re ready for a summer of fun, for sure.”

While Big Brother airs Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays through the summer, Love Island will (as in the past) occupy even more time on the CBS schedule, airing every night except Mondays and Saturdays.

“Yes, we have a ton of hours,” Castro acknowledges, “but we’re definitely going to bring back some of the challenges that people know and love, along with a lot of twists and turns. ‘Casa Amor’ [which gives Love Island contestants new romantic options midway through the season] is definitely a huge draw for people, and we’re going to give the fans all the highlights, along with a lot of new stuff.”

Big Brother airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Global & CBS and Love Island airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. and Thursdays & Fridays at 9 p.m. on CBS