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Was The Cube season 2 cancelled? Is Love Island unique?

Was The Cube season 2 cancelled? Is Love Island unique?
Dwayne Wade is the host of The Cube season 2, which was to premiere on TBS in early January. He's pictured here in season 1, episode 5 (Photo by Jeremy Freeman/TBS)

In today’s Ask Andy, an answer to a scheduling question about The Cube, plus a question about Love Island that I’m hoping you can help your fellow reader answer—if there is an answer!

If you have questions about reality TV, send me an e-mail message!

Why isn’t The Cube season 2 premiering Jan. 8?

Kavi Vu attempts to catch red balls that are falling from the ceiling on The Cube
Kavi Vu attempts a challenge during The Cube season 1 episode 8 (Photo by John Nowak/TBS)

Did season 2 of “The Cube” on TBS get delayed? It was supposed to return this Sunday night but I’ve seen no advertising for it, the website just says “Coming Soon” and my guide shows reruns of The Big Bang Theory in that timeslot. —Marc, via Twitter

As you said, Marc, TBS’s The Cube season two was set for Jan. 8, airing Sundays at 9.

That date was announced Dec. 5, less than a month ago, when TBS said season two would have “more games, celebrities, and winners.”

The link in that announcement to the trailer has been made private on YouTube; as you mentioned, the website just says “Coming Soon.”

BuzzerBlog noted the schedule change just 2.5 weeks after the season-two announcement.

Inside a large glass box, two people wearing tie-died body suits wearing helmets attempt to step over an elevated stick, while Dwayne Wade looks on from outside The Cube
Shanden Jackson and Mae Jackson-Green compete during The Cube’s first season while host Dwayne Wade looks on (Photo by John Nowak/TBS)

The announcement of The Cube’s renewal for a season two came much earlier: last February.

Since then, of course, a lot has happened at TBS’s parent company. WarnerMedia merged with Discovery, and started to lay off people and cancel shows, including at TBS, TNT, and truTV, which are known as the TNets.

That made me wonder: Is The Cube’s second season one of those shows that have been cut to be used as a tax-write off by this company in chaos? Does it just not have support of whoever is left running the network? Is there no one left in the office to push play on the VCR?

The answer to those questions, thankfully, is no, and there’s better news for The Cube’s future. At least right now!

I asked WarnerBros. Discovery about the change, and was told that “the TNets have made some scheduling adjustments to its January 2023 programming slate and The Cube is no longer premiering in January.”

There will be “a new date” in the future, I was told. I don’t know if that’ll be as soon as this winter, or if we’ll have to wait until spring or later.

What celebrity shows came before civilian seasons, like Love Island?

During SNL's Love Island sketch, Beck Bennett played "Finlay" and Aidy Bryant was "Mackenzie."
This is an SNL sketch about Love Island sketch with Beck Bennett and Aidy Bryant, and as close as the US has come to a celebrity version of the show. (Photo by Dominique Russo/NBC)

Hello! Long time reader, and I was inspired by your recent appearance on EHG to bother you with a reality TV question that I don’t know how to answer by myself: As a veteran reality TV fan who lives in the UK, I couldn’t help but witness the Love Island phenom, but is Love Island the first spin-off that came after a celeb version?

Celebrity Love Island was in 2005-06, and Love Island came in 2015. In every other Celeb-variety of reality franchise, I can’t think of one that happened before the civilian version (i.e., the Apprentice, Big Brother, Drag Race).

But I could well be wrong! It just struck me as an unusual shift in format. As promised, a very stupid question, and if you don’t want to waste your time on it I 100% understand. All the best, Margaret

Not a stupid question at all, Margaret! It’s a fascinating one—just one I didn’t answer for more than a year. 😰

When I first read it, I was stumped, and nothing immediately came to mind. I thought I’d think about it and do some research, and now it is 2023!

The only thoughts I had were shows that I think would need an asterisk, such as I Love New York, which was a follow-up to Flavor of Love starring its breakout star, Tiffany Pollard, and thus technically a civilian version of a celebrity Bachelor. Another example might be that franchise’s spin-off Charm School, which had the civilian contestants compete in a different format.

Because I’m not doing a good job of coming up with answers here, I thought I’d turn it over to our fellow reality TV-watchers. Can anyone think of a reality show that began as a celebrity series and morphed into a civilian show?

I’ll update this if any answers come in. And if they don’t, I think you might be right that Love Island is a total aberration!

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

Discussion: your turn

I think of writing about television as the start of a conversation, and I value your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!

SamB

Sunday 8th of January 2023

Am I right in saying that The Traitors was a celebrity show first, in the Netherlands, before civilian versions were broadcast in countries including the UK?

Margaret

Wednesday 4th of January 2023

I have continued to dwell on this, and still have no alternative answer, though I recently learned that the BBC's Pop Idol attempt, Fame Academy, which run for two seasons, was outlasted by the celebrity spin-off, Comic Relief Does Fame Academy, which had three versions.