That sinking feeling

Posted by Ian
When we first discussed the idea of running a feature on what’s going wrong with ITV1’s Love Island, it was off the back of news that the show had slumped so far in the ratings it was now attracting less of an audience than any of the other terrestrial stations – including Channel Five. For ITV1, that’s about as bad as it can get.
But that was yesterday. Today brings news that the show has shed even more of its viewers, jettisoning a further half million people last night to end up with an average of just 1.7 million tuning in, the lowest figure so far and pretty ghastly for a network that once claimed, justifiably, to be the nation’s most popular TV channel.
So why is it such a flop? What has turned Love Island from a fairly harmless, if laughable, concept into a premier league stinker? You’ve been having your say by the score, and we’ll be showcasing a selection of your responses on the homepage over the next few days. 
Big Brother isn’t doing exceptionally well in the ratings either: it was beaten by the BBC News last night, which undoubtedly received a boost thanks to the ongoing Middle East crisis, but normally finds itself playing second fiddle to the latest antics of the couped-up contestants.
What makes all this even more intriguing from our point of view is the huge interest stories about both Love Island and Big Brother continue to command on the homepage. Yesterday we ran a news link called ‘Housemate Mikey in bum biting probe’. Tens of thousands of you clicked on it. The same went for ‘Steve-O quits Love Island after row’. Could it be that these kinds of reality shows are becoming more the kinds of thing you prefer to read about online rather than actually sit down and watch?
As both programmes head towards their respective climax, it’ll be fascinating to see if and how this trend continues.
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