Some of us are old enough to remember “The Dating Game” on ABC from the 1960s through the 1980s, and “The New Dating Game, through 1999 – eligible bachelors back then included Michael Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fast forward 13 years, and now there are two Latinos heading up dating game shows, out of the three that are about to take TV by storm. Both “Take Me Out,” hosted by George Lopez, and “The Choice” premiered last night. Eva Longoria’s “Ready for Love” is set to air this coming winter.
“The new dating game show trend can be traced to a mix of coincidence, and every 20 years or so, the old becomes new,” says Jack Rico, editor-in-chief of ShowBizCafe.com. “But you need the right mix of charm and personality in the host and a good premise that can keep audiences engaged and returning every week. If successful, it can bring millions of dollars, if not, it’s forgotten as soon as it came on the air.”
George Lopez made his premiere as a dating host last night on FOX, by descending to the stage on a lift. He greeted the 30 single ladies as they lined up at their podiums and instructed them to press a button and the light turns off on their podium if they didn’t like the guy presented to them. The final round is the guy’s choice: he poses a question to two finalists and chooses a winner who he then asks out on a date.
“If the girls don’t get picked, they stay,” said Lopez. “So you start to get familiar with them – what they like and don’t like.” He adds that if he were to give the guys advice, it would be “to be honest and have fun.”
“The Choice” on NBC, like the same channel’s “The Voice,” uses the famous swivel chairs to add suspense. In this show, the eligible bachelors are celebrities like Dean Cain and Pauly D, who rival against one another sitting in the monstrous moveable thrones as they listen to non-celebrity prospective dates pitch themselves.
Meanwhile, Longoria is gearing up for her upcoming show “Ready for Love,” which will be hosted by couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic. She handpicked three eligible bachelors, one being the South Florida Latino businessman, Ernesto Arguello.
The show will employ three matchmakers to help these men find their love match. At the completion of each week, everyone will convene to watch the dates and receive feedback from the matchmakers.
“My money is on Longoria’s “Ready for Love” since it probably is more of a personal project due to her divorce from Tony Parker,” says Rico. “Passion projects do well.”