U.K. Finale of Brit Hit Dating Show 'Love Island' Draws 3.6M for ITV

Courtesy of ITV
'Love Island'

Now a major summer event in the U.K., ITV's hit reality show drew to a close on Monday night after 49 episodes.

Britain's annual obsession with a reality dating TV show has come to an end for this year, with 3.63 million tuning in to watch the Love Island 2019 finale on ITV's sister channel ITV2, according to overnight data. 

In a live show broadcast from a villa on the Spanish island of Mallorca, where many of the contestants have been living since the start of June, Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea were crowned champions on Monday, beating the bookies' favorites Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague to a £50,000 ($60,000) prize (which the two winners opted to share). 

The finale of the fifth season of the current iteration of ITV's Love Island brings to end 2019's romantic TV adventures, which were spread over eight weeks and 49 episodes as attractive young Brits – 36 in total as the series progressed – battled to "couple up" and avoid being voted off the island. 

Alongside dominating the tabloid news and being a major water-cooler moment for a U.K. population in need of some light relief from ongoing Brexit headlines, Love Island has become something of a major force for ITV, on which it's the most-watched show of the year for adults aged 16-34. Season five broke the 6 million viewers mark for the first time in terms of consolidated viewing across TV, computer and mobile, also landing more than 2 billion impressions on Twitter, with the Love Island Instagram account amassing more than 3 million followers.

The show, produced by ITV Studios Entertainment and Motion Content Group, was cited in ITV's recent earnings report as having helped buoy advertising revenues for the first six months of the year, providing a "strong finish to the half." 

Earlier this month, ITV announced that it was capitalizing on the show's popularity by airing two seasons in the U.K. in 2020, with the first coming earlier in the year from South Africa. 

Despite such success, the first season of Love Island's much-hyped U.S. version, currently airing on CBS and one of 13 international commissions of the format, has been regarded as something of a flop by comparison.

A major promotional push hasn't prevented the American iteration from drawing consistently mediocre ratings through its first three weeks, averaging a modest 0.5 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and about 2.25 million viewers per night. The show's demo rating is tied for 19th among 23 unscripted shows that have aired this summer on the Big Four broadcast networks.