Netflix’s “Too Hot To Handle” became one of the breakout quarantine binges in the early days of the pandemic, and Variety has confirmed that the raunchy dating show is secretly filming overseas, as the series has quietly nabbed a two-season renewal.
“Too Hot To Handle” has been renewed for Seasons 2 and 3, and filming has been underway for months, sources say, on the islands of Turks and Caicos.
“The secret is out — we’re thrilled to bring back ‘Too Hot to Handle’ for two new seasons in a tropical paradise,” Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s VP of unscripted and documentary series, tells Variety. “Netflix members around the world fell in love with the hilarious antics of season one, and now fans won’t have to wait long to see our new contestants try (and fail) to follow Lana’s strict rules with plenty of twists and surprises along the way.”
“Too Hot to Handle” follows a group of genetically blessed, bikini-clad singles on a remote island where they hope to find love — but little do they know, they are forbidden from any sexual activity over the course of the series, and any hanky-panky rule-breaking decreases their ultimate cash prize.
In an effort to keep the premise of the show under wraps from contestants, who signed onto the dating show without knowing exactly what it was, production on Seasons 2 and 3 was covertly titled “Parties in Paradise” throughout casting, rather than ID’ing it by its real name — which surely would have been a dead giveaway, given the huge breakout success of the first season on Netflix. (“Too Hot to Handle” became one of the streaming giant’s most-viewed shows, after debuting in April 2020.)
In the first season, the contestants arrived to the island, only to soon find out by their digital host named Lana — who went viral for NSFW reasons — that they had been tricked into having no sexual contact for the duration of the show.
The first season filmed in Mexico, but the new seasons are being shot in Turks and Caicos, under COVID-19 production safety protocols. The new seasons will be co-produced by Fremantle’s U.K.-based Thames TV banner and Talkback, which was behind the first season.
After the first season, breakout star Francesca Farago told Variety about the lengths production took to keep the show a secret from the cast, explaining that she had no idea what show she had signed up for when filming began.
“Before I even flew there, I really didn’t know. I just thought it was going to be a new concept,” Farago said in an interview last year. “My theory was that it was going to be “Influencer Island,” so I was like they’re getting a bunch of influencers, they’re putting us on an island and they’re going to take away all of our technology…closer to right before we left when I found out I needed to be single, I was like, ‘Maybe this is dating.’”
“Too Hot to Handle” was one of Netflix’s new dating shows that hit the pop culture zeitgeist during the pandemic. “The Circle” and “Love Is Blind,” which has also been renewed for two more seasons, captured millions of households when viewers were getting acclimated to staying safe at home, binging more hours of streaming TV than ever before from their couches, leading to booming viewership gains and soaring stock for Netflix, which surpassed 200 million paying subscribers in 2020 — its biggest year of growth ever.
Deadline first reported the two-season renewal for “Too Hot to Handle.”