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Series / The Dating Game

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Game Show by Chuck Barris Productions which originally aired on ABC from 1965–73 with host Jim Lange. It was the first game show to enter Reality TV territory, in that the winning couple actually went on a date after the show. It was so popular in its original run that it inspired a flavor of ice cream.

A young woman asked provocative questions of three bachelors who sat on stools behind a large wall. After questioning, the "bachelorette" chose one of the bachelors for her date, based only on how they answered her questions. On occasion, the role would be reversed (one bachelor, three bachelorettes).

Various syndicated revivals were hosted by Lange, Elaine Joyce, Jeff MacGregor, Brad Sherwood, and Chuck Woolery. In February 2021, ABC announced yet another revival, The Celebrity Dating Game, with Michael Bolton as executive producer and co-host along with Zooey Deschanel.

Usually aired alongside sister show The Newlywed Game.

The UK version of Dating Games, Blind Date, had a hugely popular run from 1985 to 2003 and was hosted by Cilla Black.

This show provides examples of:

  • The '60s: Look at the set design, which is full of stereotypical television show design of the time (basically The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour aesthetic.)
  • All or Nothing: Somewhat, at least for the three potential suitors — either you get the girl/boy, or you don't.
  • Game Show Host: Jim Lange. Elaine Joyce hosted in 1986/87, followed by Jeff MacGregor from 1987 to 1989. Brad Sherwood hosted the first season of the 1990s revival, followed by Chuck Woolery.
  • Signature Transition: In the original '60s and '70s version:
    • Host Jim Lange would introduce the three bachelors by announcing "And heeere they are!" and doing an extravagant pointing to the area of the stage where they were seated, which was the cue for the partition to turn and reveal them to the contestant.
    • At the end of the show, Lange and the winning couples would, on cue, fade back and blow the viewers a kiss, accompanied by the word "Kiss" appearing onscreen and approaching the camera, which was followed by the closing credits.
  • Transatlantic Equivalent: Britain and Australia had their own variations of "The Dating Game", titled "Blind Date" and "Perfect Match", respectively.