Checking-In to the New Paradise Hotel

Nick Tanner, the director of sales and co-productions at Passion Distribution, talks to TV Formats about the dating format Paradise Hotel‘s return to the U.S., complete with a new live component.

On May 9, FOX will launch a new version of Paradise Hotel, which returns to U.S. screens after being off the air for more than a decade. In its fresh iteration, the show will be stripped three nights a week, following as sexy singles live together in an exclusive resort and must use strategy (and a bit of romance) to remain there.

The series originally debuted on FOX in 2003 and went on to become an international hit, with versions produced in more than 18 countries around the world. Paradise Hotel is one of the most popular shows in the Nordics, with seasons running into double figures in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. RTL Germany has recently licensed the format for its streaming service TVNow.

Setting it apart from the original show, and its various international counterparts, is that this time around, FOX’s Paradise Hotel will feature a live component. “The show runs up to the minute,” says Tanner. “Episodes one and two each week are the action from the day before; the third episode of the week is a two-hour live event.”

Another change is that the audience will have some sway in who goes into the hotel each week, Tanner explains. “One person checks out of paradise every week if they’re not in a couple, and then a new person is added. Via social media, the audience will have some influence on the action in the hotel.”

He also highlights the show’s “big, new, splashy gameplay,” emphasizing that while the contestants are certainly taking part in hopes of finding love (or at least hooking up), “they are never not playing the game.” Tanner adds, “There are challenges, parties and environments that are created in order to cause provocation and flashpoints. We want arguments, but we also want people falling for each other. Whereas some of our competitor formats go for the more ‘organic’ approach, meaning to let the relationships play out, we’re trying to get them to move on. It’s catchier that way.”

Tanner says that entertainment shows such as Paradise Hotel—ones that are established, have a clear tone and proven functionality—are particularly in-demand at the moment. “It’s a challenging commissioning environment out there, so relatability, understanding what a show is and having confidence that it’s going to meet the needs of the audience” are important, he says.

FOX’s Paradise Hotel is produced by Celia Taylor for Mentorn Media, the original creators of the groundbreaking Paradise Hotel format, and SallyAnn Salsano’s 495 Productions. Taylor, Salsano and Becca Walker serve as executive producers.