Love Bloat: What’s with All the Dating Shows?

Whether it's super speed dating or a celebrity version of The Dating Game, TV matchmaking is all the rage

Credit: FOX

Cat Deeley will host new dating game show The Choice

Will new reality TV dating shows Take Me Out and The Choice take off, or are they destined to fizzle?

I think anyone still watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette now realizes the fairy-tale romance that blossoms on the show tends to wither about as quickly as one of those roses once the cameras are turned off.

Yet that hasn’t dampened viewers’ enthusiasm for dating shows, and this week Fox is serving up two new ones.

First up is Take Me Out, hosted by George Lopez — not the first face that comes to mind when I think about romance, but whatever. Based on an international franchise, Take Me Out is kind of like televised speed dating, with 30 female contestants attempting to hook up with one of several bachelors trying to make a good first impression.

The Choice

This is followed by The Choice, which features a format that is a blatant — albeit romantic — rip-off of NBC’s The Voice. Each week, four celebrities try to hook up with non-celebrity contestants.

The catch: The celebs can’t see what their prospective dates look like as they sit in Voice-style chairs, their backs turned to their potential soul mates. Cat Deeley, moonlighting from her day job on So You Think You Can Dance, is the host.

The level of celebrity appearing on this thing is about what you would expect: Jersey Shore’s Pauly D and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino; Rob Kardashian; male model Tyson Beckford; former NFL great Warren Sapp; one-time tween heartthrob Joe Jonas; former Lois & Clark star Dean Cain; American Idol champ Taylor Hicks; Saturday Night Live alum Finesse Mitchell; pro snowboarder Seth Wescott; Suburgatory’s Parker Young; and celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito.

Five episodes will feature male celebs getting propositioned by females, but the tables — or, in this case, chairs — are turned in an episode in which female celebs (including Carmen Electra and Sophie Monk) audition male contestants.

“What started off as a goof ended up being a ridiculously good format,” said Fox alternative series president Mike Darnell in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “[The Choice] really feels like a hit. It was charming and funny . . . [the show’s format] is going to sell all over the world.”

Take Me Out and The Choice premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fox.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.